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PUC: Don’t Let the Winter Weather Scare You! Prepare Now and Conserve to Save Energy and Money

Authored By: Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission

Information

Don’t let this weekend’s forecasted frigid temperatures scare you! As part of its Prepare Now campaign, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds consumers that colder temperatures mean increased energy use, but there are ways to cut energy consumption without cutting comfort.

“The PUC is committed to helping customers minimize their bills while making the most of every dollar they spend on energy,” said PUC Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer. “Small changes around the home can save money on winter energy costs.”

The PUC offers the following tips:

  • Install a programmable furnace thermostat that will lower the temperature automatically at night and raise the temperature when you are up and about. Keep in mind that this device does not apply to homes using heat pumps. For every degree you raise or lower the thermostat setting, you can see a difference of up to 3 percent in energy costs.
  • Turn down your thermostat. It’s one of the most effective ways to cut your energy usage. If you can tolerate it and your health permits a slightly cooler home, lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees.
  • Turn down your hot water tank. Set it to 120 degrees and if you have a dishwasher, set it at 140 degrees to cut your power consumption.
  • Insulate your attic. Make sure your home has a minimum of R-30 insulation in ceilings or attics (a contractor can help you evaluate your current insulation). By adding insulation, your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Additional conservation tips are available on the Prepare Now page on the PUC website.

In its 12th year, the PUC’s Prepare Now campaign provides consumers with simple tips to lower their energy bills, including shopping for electricity and natural gas, as well as tips to conserve energy around the house. It also offers information about low-income programs that help consumers restore and maintain service.

The PUC also issued a letter to utility CEOs last week, reminding them to take extra steps to help consumers, especially those on limited and fixed incomes. Utilities have been asked to respond with actions they plan to implement.

Prepare Now for winter energy costs. Learn more about conservation. Check your electric and natural gas bills and supplier contracts. Use PAPowerSwitch.com to shop for service. Look into programs that help low-income customers maintain service. Visit www.puc.pa.gov and click on "Prepare Now" or call the PUC at 1-800-692-7380. #PrepareNow


Original News Release