Have a high utility bill? How you can stay cool and save money this summer

Danville city leaders ask residents to conserve, but not because of power outages

We're working for you to learn how you can stay cool while saving money this summer.

DANVILLE, Va. – You might think a summer scorcher may be torture on your cooling costs, but Appalachian Power has suggestions to save on your bill.

First, cover your windows during the day to block out the heat.

“Keeping the blinds closed or the shade down during the day can save customers 10-25% percent on cooling costs,” said Teresa Hall, a spokesperson with Appalachian Power.

She says applying weather strips around windows and doors can prevent air leaks, which results in up to 25% of the energy used to cool homes each year.

You should also use electric appliances in the evening.

When using a ceiling fan to cool your home, turn it off when you leave the room.

If an air conditioner is a must, experts say to “think about changing or cleaning your filters on your AC unit and make sure that your furniture is blocking or covering floor vents.”

But what should you set the thermostat to?

“We recommend setting it as high as you’re comfortable with when you’re at home,” said Hall.

These tips could save you money and help your community.

City leaders in Danville are asking residents to conserve electricity between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. but not because it will lead to power outages.

“There’s not a shortage of [energy] supply, or a concern that there won’t be enough supply, it’s just that we’re trying to keep our costs lower for next year,” said Jason Grey, utilities director for the City of Danville.

These peak periods help determine what they’ll charge customers next year.

Grey says the city’s doing its part to help, by running its water treatment plants after 6 p.m. and using three local solar farms to generate power instead of pulling from the grid.

“These peaks events determine what our rates will be, what our demand costs will be, for next year. So, we try to set a lower number to save money for 2022,” said Grey.

Exploring energy-efficient projects today could benefit you for years to come.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.