Beat the heat and the high utility bill

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – High temperatures and humidity are baking much of the central United States this week, sending heat indexes soaring as high as 115 degrees in some places for the first time this year. The National Weather Service calls it a heat dome, which is a high pressure system that has pushed conditions to their hottest point this summer so far. While you can’t control your utility bill, there are some steps that can be taken to better manage utility bills.

Anthony Swinger, spokesman for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor has some tips, including waiting to use the big appliances until nighttime.

“They may give off heat that you and I won’t feel but the thermostat will, so if you’re going to cook during the day it’s best to go with the microwave, and again hold off until evening, until it’s dark to do laundry and run the dishwasher,” he advised.

Swinger said there are many low-cost and no-cost steps that can help add up to savings for the consumer, while also helping to ease the electric grid’s workload at its busiest time.

Another thing Swinger said to remember is to unplug anything that’s not being used, including cell phone, tablet and computer chargers.

“Because even if you’re not actually using it, if it’s plugged in, it is using a small amount of energy and so cutting off the use of those things is one of the things that can help add up to savings or at least add up to keeping the bill in check,” he added.

Swinger said there are some things people may not know, like using ceiling fans only when you’re in the room, and running them counter clockwise in the summer. Most fans come with a switch to move the air in different directions. You want the fan to run counter-clockwise at higher speeds in the summer to move a breeze around, and clockwise at lower speeds to help distribute heat in the winter.

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