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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Cold weather driving up energy usage

Cold weather driving up energy usage

Entergy offers energy-saving tips to reduce usage and save money

BATON ROUGE, La. – As the region prepares for more dropping temperatures, Entergy Louisiana reminds customers to stay not only warm, but also smart when it comes to gas and electricity usage.

Colder weather can drive up usage as heaters are running more often to keep homes and businesses warm. For example, during the first week of January Midcontinent Independent System Operator South reported a peak demand for electricity usage that averaged nearly 25 percent higher than the same week last year. Midcontinent Independent System Operator manages power across the transmission grid and operates markets for the purchase and sale of wholesale energy and other products. Its market footprint stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Further, gas usage during this time rivaled that of early 2014, when the Polar Vortex swept throughout the country and brought extreme temperature lows.

“While it’s tempting to crank up your heaters during this winter weather, it’s important to keep your energy usage in mind,” said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of customer service in Louisiana. “There are many quick and easy do-it-yourself projects that can help you keep warm while saving on gas and electricity usage.”

As the temperatures are expected to plunge again, use these tips to help reduce your energy usage.

- Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home or business.

- Adjust the thermostat. Grab a sweater or blanket to stay warm, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add three percent to your bill.

- Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket that can be found at local home improvement stores and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.

- Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the set temperature.

- Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter. This helps keep the cold air from blowing down on you.

- Keep the air circulating. Don’t block heat registers or air returns with curtains or furniture.

- Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.

“While customers can’t control the weather, they can take control of their bills by leveraging our payment programs,” Dawsey added. “Level Billing is a great way to help manage budgets. The program eliminates spikes in usage and bills by paying an average amount each month.”

Other payment options include:

Pick-A-Date, which allows customers to choose the date when their bills are due.

Automatic Monthly Payments, which save customers the trouble of writing and mailing checks or having to visit a payment center.

Entergy’s The Power to Care assists elderly and disabled customers with their bills and is funded by Entergy employees, customers and shareholders. To find out how to get assistance, or to contribute to the fund, visit or check the donation box on your monthly bill.