Green Living: Energy Saving Tips from Santee Cooper Green

November 11, 2008

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. — With a slight nip in the air, now is an ideal time to prepare for meeting your home’s winter energy needs in the face of rising energy costs.

Heating accounts for the largest portion of a typical utility bill, but keeping your thermostat set for energy economy is a simple step that goes a long way toward saving you money. Always set your thermostat to its “auto” mode for the system fan operation, and keep the range between 66º and 68º.

“If you get too cold, try dressing in layers before you adjust your thermostat,” Director of Customer Communications Jill Watts says. “If you have ceiling fans, reverse the blades to better circulate the warm air.”

To ensure optimal performance, try to change or clean your air filter at least once a month. A dirty filter can choke airflow and force your equipment to work harder, which results in higher energy bills.

“Contrary to what you might believe, low-density disposable filters are preferred to the pricier high-density varieties,” says Watts. “Unless your heat pump is specifically designed to accommodate high-density filters, they can restrict the air flow in some systems.”

Watts also recommends walking throughout your home and moving any objects that might be blocking your heating and cooling registers. At the same time check your home inside and out for any potential air leaks and consider sealing them with caulk or weather stripping. If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed unless a fire is going.

“The idea is to warm your home,” Watts says. “Not the neighborhood.”

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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