Reduce your energy costs with these conservation tips


Winter brings many different challenges that are not faced during the rest of the year. Not only are there frigid temperatures, icy roads and snow-ins, but energy costs can also be high.

Picture this, you are sitting in your warm house with a cup of hot chocolate watching the snow. Everything is peaceful until you open your electricity bill. It can be shocking, no pun intended.

Unfortunately, that’s can be a reality for many.

James Tanneberger, president and CEO of South-Central Indiana REMC said that they serve approximately 6,000 Brown County residents. While McKenzie Barbknecht corporate communications for Duke Energy approximates around 3,600 people in Brown County using Duke Energy.

“We are in the heart of the winter season,” Barbknecht said. “Which means the potential for higher usage and higher electric bills. January had a very cold stretch of weather, with temperatures dipping below freezing. This cold stretch was the primary driver for higher electric usage and higher bills. Heating a space in the winter can require significantly more energy than cooling the same space in the summer. Even if your thermostat setting never changes, your heating system will run longer the colder it is outside, leading to increased energy usage and higher winter bills.”

Barbknecht said that Duke Energy tries to keep rates as low as possible for its customers while educating them on how to cut costs, but they recognize that some might be experiencing trouble with paying their electricity bill.

“We encourage you to contact us as early as possible so that we can discuss tools that can help. Our goal is to help you keep your account current and navigate high bills you may encounter this winter,” Barbknecht said.

Although this winter was mild compared to previous years, the recent snow left some without power, a very serious problem during below freezing temperatures.

Tanneberger said that South-Central Indiana observes energy trends year-round and notes higher usage in the winter as energy needs are larger. They support members to conserve energy and offer energy efficiency tips and resources on their website.

“Generally, during major weather events with large temperature swings, our members use more energy to heat or cool their homes,” Tanneberger said. “This greater usage means each member’s total bill may be higher than at other times. SCI REMC’s total costs during these times are higher as well because SCI is purchasing more power to provide for greater usage throughout its territory. During the recent snow event, SCI REMC experienced some outages in our territory, primarily caused by trees or branches falling on power lines due to snow accumulation. We understand the importance of affordable and reliable electricity, so we must overcome the inherent challenges in our system to provide this necessary service.”

Tanneberger also said that South-Central Indiana REMC’s territory is 65 percent forested which makes it the most densely forested system in the state, this makes overcoming challenges during major weather events difficult.

South-Central Indiana REMC and Duke Energy provided tips on cutting energy costs during the winter months including turning off lights and electronics when not in use, utilizing proper settings on ceiling fans, maximizing the heat from natural sunlight, keeping all registers and radiators clear of furniture and regularly maintaining your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

No posts to display