Beat the heat without breaking the bank

Appalachian Power gives money-saving tips as spike in energy use continues due to summer heat, pandemic

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s typical to use a lot of energy during the hottest days in the summer and extreme weather in the winter but with the pandemic, this summer is a little different.

Appalachain Power’s spokesperson Teresa Hamilton Hall tells 10 News the company is seeing a larger load from residential customers because people are at home more than usual. That means using lights and electricity a lot more.

Don’t forget, thanks to the extreme heat air conditioning units are working overtime to keep people. Hall says just because usage is up doesn’t mean your bill has to be high too. Making small changes to your daily routine can help you save money.

“Trying to keep your thermostat set around 78 degrees. I know it’s hard, but if you can keep it around 78 degrees and not tinker with it that’ll help you save on your bill and also consider the time you use your heat generating appliances such as your oven, or your dishwasher or your dryer,” said Hall.

The best time to use your heat generating appliances is either early in the morning or late in the evening.

Another pointer, close your curtains and blinds on the hottest days especially during the hottest hours of the day.

For a list of other simple life hacks to help you lower your energy bill, click here.

If you want to save even more Appalachian Power has a couple of programs you can join.

The newest energy efficient program, BYOT started last year. BYOT stands for bring your own thermostat.

To get in on the program you have to get an approved thermostat and electric meter. From there the power company will be able to remotely change the temperature of your central air unit on a limited number of peak demand days. So far, Appalachian Power has seen at least five peak demand days.

They pay you a bonus for signing up and getting the new thermostat and an additional $25 at the end of the summer.

Another option is an average monthly payment plan (AMP).

“Customers then don’t experience summer and winter peaks when usage is at its highest. Essentially those spikes that you see in the winter and summer are spread out throughout the year in a customer’s bill,” Hall said.

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