Sustained cold this week

Our winter this year has been unusual in that it has truly been cold. The lows in December and January brought many days with 20s, 30s and 40s, and now February has brought lows in the teens. We are breaking temperature records and the power bills are reflecting this.


Even if you never touch the thermostat and you bill is normal on mild or mildly cold days, your bill will be higher when overnight and morning lows are truly cold. “This is because your heater will run more continuously through the night and early morning hours to attempt to keep your house at the 65-68° setting,” says Manager of Energy Services Nick DeAngelo.

“If it is 27° outside and your heat is set at 68°, your heater must work harder to make up this 41° difference between outside and inside your home,” said DeAngelo. “It will run longer and use more energy.”

There are things you can do to help make your home more efficient and conserve energy while you stay warm.

  • Set your thermostat between 60-65°, not higher than 68°. Know that if you have it set to 68° and it is 27° outside, your heat will run nearly continuously through the night and morning hours to make up the 41° difference between the outside and inside temp.
  • Download the SmartHub app and monitor your weekly energy use. You will be able to see how your energy use correlates with the temperatures each day.
  • Bundle up. Wear layers and dress appropriately indoors and out. Also layer blankets on beds so you can lower your heat setting while you sleep.
  • Harness the sun’s heat and open blinds and curtains during the sunny part of the day and close them as the sun goes down.
  • Caulk around windows, use weather stripping around doors and add insulation to attic spaces.
  • Close the fireplace flue when not in use.
  • Close garage doors to keep the cold and wind outside.
  • Use space heaters sparingly, if at all, and only while you are in the room. These heaters may be small but they can use a great deal of energy.

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