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As summer comes into full effect, many customers may see their utility bills begin to rise, even though electric rates have not increased. The most common causes of higher energy bills are increased and inefficient energy usage. To help our customers keep their summer energy usage down, we’ve listed several no- or low-cost tips below:

• Set your AC to 78 degrees or higher.
• Use a fan instead of the AC unit. Keeping air moving is the key to greater comfort in hot weather.
• Set your AC 5-10 degrees warmer for when you go out.  It does not use more energy to bring your home back to the desired temperature, once it has heated up substantially, than it does to keep it at that temperature level.
• Check your AC ducts to ensure there are no leaks.
• Adjust your shades, blinds, draperies and awnings to block the sun’s rays.
• Try using cool water to wash clothes.
• Turn down your hot water heater. Your water heater may be heating your water much hotter than necessary.
• Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use. Many appliances still use electricity – even when they are in stand-by mode – so unplug them when possible.
• Use lower wattage bulbs or energy-saver bulbs.
• Install water-saver shower heads to reduce hot water usage during showers.

The City of Thomasville also offers an On-Bill financing program. This program provides 0 percent financing to qualified customers, helping them to make energy efficient upgrades to their homes and appliances. The On-Bill financing program is funded by the Department of Energy through the Georgia Environmental Finances Authority. This program is designed to improve energy efficiency in the State of Georgia by providing low-cost funding to residential homeowners for the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment and home envelope energy efficiency improvements. The City of Thomasville serves as the lender and collects loan payments through its customers’ monthly utility bills.

Director of Customer Service Karis Mills said that the program, depending on the type of upgrades being made, in many cases pays for itself through savings. “The best thing about the program is that customers realize a savings in many cases almost immediately,” she said.

Customers may also save money by identifying areas in their home where inefficient energy usage exists. As a service to our customers, free, in-home energy audits are available. “These audits help to locate and identify areas of inefficiency and give customers a focus on where they can make improvements to reduce energy usage,” said Mills.
“The City offers our customers a variety of options that can be implemented to help better manage energy usage and the resulting utility bill,” said Mills. “We are happy to work with our customers to identify cost savings measures that, once implemented, should noticeably lower the monthly utility bill. We have many helpful tools on our website:”

For more information regarding energy usage and ways you can save, call our offices at 229-227-7001.