Green Living: Energy Saving Tips from Santee Cooper Green

January 3, 2009

MONCKS CORNER, SC – January 2, 2008 – With the new year upon us, thoughts typically turn to resolutions and self-improvement. January is also an ideal time to take stock of how we use energy in our homes, and Santee Cooper is continuing to promote conservation and efficiency this new year. As we contemplate ways to kick old habits or slim our waistlines, let us also dedicate ourselves anew to developing practices that can slim our energy bills.

A good place to start is at the thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy says heating and cooling accounts for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical home. Setting your thermostat for energy economy can produce some serious energy savings without sacrificing comfort. Santee Cooper recommends a heating range between 66º F and 68º F and a cooling range between 78º F and 80º F. Additional tips for powering down your energy consumption and saving on your electric bill are available at

“For central heating and cooling units, always set the system fan mode to ‘auto’ in humid environments like South Carolina,” says Zack Dusenbury, vice president of retail operations for Santee Cooper. “You can increase your indoor humidity by as much as 20 percent when you leave the fan in full ‘on’ mode. Ideal indoor humidity levels should not exceed 59 percent.”

Dusenbury says ceiling fans are an effective way to circulate the air and prevent your heat pump from working too hard to control the climate in your home. “Just be sure to turn them off when you aren’t in the room,” he says. “Your furniture won’t know the difference.”

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer, supplying electricity to more than 163,000 retail customers in Berkeley, Georgetown, and Horry counties, as well as to 29 large industrial facilities, the cities of Bamberg and Georgetown, and the Charleston Air Force Base. Santee Cooper also generates the power distributed by the state’s 20 electric cooperatives to more than 700,000 customers in all 46 counties. Approximately 2 million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. The utility also provides water to 137,000 consumers in Berkeley and Dorchester counties, and the town of Santee.

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