With summer heat officially here, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is providing customers with a variety of options to help them control their energy use and reduce cooling costs.
“Customers will typically see a spike in energy use in their homes during the summer since air conditioning consumes a large amount,” said Katie Davis, vice president of External Affairs and Customer Experience. “We know bills are higher in the summer months, that’s why Indiana Michigan Power wants to help our customers do what they can to take control and manage their energy use, as well as make sure they are aware of the programs we offer.”
Making homes more energy efficient this summer can be as simple as closing curtains, or doing laundry later in the day. It can also include longer-term steps such as using “smart” power strips or installing a WiFi or Smart thermostat.
I&M offers 10 easy, no-cost ways to save energy:
- Set your thermostat a little higher during summer months. You can reduce cooling costs by about 3 to 4% for each degree of adjustment. Changing the temperature from 74°F to 78°F could lower your energy bill by more than 10%.
- Raise the thermostat to about 78°F whenever you go to bed or leave the house. A WiFi or Smart thermostat will do this for you automatically.
- Turn off lights in empty rooms and when they are not needed.
- Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. Many appliances use energy on standby power even if “off” – and eliminating this “phantom” energy can reduce household energy use by as much as 10%.
- – Examples include devices with remote control (TVs, DVDs); devices with a “black box” power supply (printers, cable modems); chargers (cell phone, tablet, laptop); or appliances with a continuous display (clocks and devices with digital clocks).
- Keep refrigerator door closed as much as possible.
- Lower your hot water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. Some are originally set at 140. This can save hundreds of dollars a year.
- Use cold water when washing clothes.
- Make sure your ceiling fan is set to run counterclockwise in the summer, pushing cooler air down.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances such as ovens or dryers during the hottest parts of the day.
- Move furnishings away from floor or return air vents.
I&M Offers the following long-term Energy Saving Tips — some may require up-front costs:
- Add inexpensive plastic deflectors under tables and chairs to direct air.
- Install aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets. Aerators easily screw into faucets and reduce water use – reducing water heater use. Efficient showerheads can also reduce water use.
- Use “smart” power strips to help reduce “phantom” energy use.
- Safely repair and/or apply weather-stripping to air leaks in the home – about 10 to 25% of energy used to cool homes escapes via air leaks. Areas to check include dropped ceilings, recessed lighting, attic entrances, ducts, doorframes, window frames, electrical outlets and switches and plumbing/utility access.
- Install a water-saving showerhead. A family of four, each taking a five-minute shower a day, can save up to $250 a year in water heating costs by switching to an energy-efficient showerhead.
- Install a WiFi or Smart thermostat to set temperatures warmer when you are away from the house. You can reset to the cooler temperature before you arrive home.
For more ways to save this summer and year-round, visit ElectricIdeas.com/Tips.
Indiana Michigan Power has also partnered with more than 50 local libraries to provide Watts it Cost energy meters for customers to check out. Plugging electronics and appliances into these meters can help you determine their energy use while running, and their “phantom” energy drawn while plugged in and turned off. You can learn more about the program and find a partnered library at ElectricIdeas.com/WattsitCost.
Payment Plans & Billing Assistance:
One way to help manage your energy costs is with I&M’s Average Monthly Payment Plan, which bases your bill on a rolling average of the previous 12 months. With this plan, there is no lump sum or “settle-up” payment at the end of a 12-month period.
For more details, and to see if you qualify, please call I&M Customer Service at:1-800-311-4634 for Indiana customers.1-800-311-6424 for Michigan customers.
Also, please call I&M Customer Service if you believe you may have difficulty paying your bill. Customer Service professionals can review your situation and recommend appropriate plans or assistance. More information is available at IndianaMichiganPower.com/Assistance.