STAY ENERGY SMART THIS SUMMER

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Air conditioners and Georgia heat go hand in hand during summer months. Even when utility rates haven’t changed, customers may see an increase in their utility bills because of increased usage. When it’s hot outside, homeowners want to stay cool and comfortable inside and run air conditioners a lot more, not realizing the biggest energy cost is related to heating and cooling. To help keep utility bills down, Thomasville Utilities has many helpful tips to stay energy smart during the hot summer months.

Small changes can make a big impact according to the City of Thomasville’s Energy Services and Technical Support Supervisor Mark Parrillo. The number one tip for customers, according to Parrillo, is lifestyle changes.

“Lifestyle changes are easy to make,” said Parrillo. “Just turning your thermostat up to 78 degrees while in your house, and higher while you’re away, can save you money.”

Parrillo also suggests using an internet-based electronic thermostat because it’s Wi-Fi controlled. “This gives you better control when you’re not at home because you can adjust your thermostat through your phone,” said Parrillo.

Other tips include:

- Have your air conditioner checked out by a qualified technician every two to three years.

- Check your air conditioner filter each month and clean or replace it as needed. Dirty filters block air flow through the heating and cooling systems, increasing your energy bill.

- During the summer, keep window coverings closed on the south, east, and west sides of your home.

- Seal and weather strip your windows and doors to make sure you aren’t heating and cooling the outdoors.

- Check your insulation. If you have less than 6 or 7 inches of attic insulation, you could benefit by adding more.

Customers can also contact the City of Thomasville to schedule a free energy audit.

“Just call 227-7001 to make an appointment,” says Parrillo. “We verify your utility usage and spend about an hour at your home.”

A written report is provided to the homeowner approximately two weeks after the energy audit that identifies steps you can take to reduce energy consumption and costs. Structure recommendations and appliance recommendations are also listed, citing potential yearly energy savings when making upgrades to these areas.

Factors such as your home’s construction and age also play a role in utility costs. “Older homes usually need updates to windows and insulation,” said Parrillo.

Customers may also be eligible to participate in the City of Thomasville’s On-Bill Financing Program. Financial assistance is available to homeowners that purchase qualified appliances and heating and air conditioning equipment or that make home weatherization improvements.

For more information about the On-Bill Financing Program or to schedule an energy audit, call (229) 227-7001 or visit thomasville.org/customer-savings.