January 10, 2020 is National Cut Your Energy Costs Day. This nationally recognized holiday works to reduce the impact of energy expenditures, both financially and environmentally. The City of Thomasville has several helpful tips and programs to assist citizens in lowering their monthly utility expenses. 

“There are many ways to reduce your energy costs, including adjustments to your appliances, electronics, and lighting, just to name a few,” said Chelsie Cosby, City of Thomasville customer experience liaison. “From thermostat adjustments to sealing leaks, minor changes can have a significant impact on the cost of your utility bill, and  most of these tips can be implemented with little to no associated costs. “

Some helpful tips include:

• In the cooler months, try adjusting your thermostat to between 66-68 degrees and even lower, or completely off, when you’re away. In the summer, the recommended energy efficiency setting is 76-78 degrees when you’re home, and higher or completely off, when you’re away. 

• Close air supply registers for rooms that aren’t in use. This can prevent your heating or cooling unit from working overtime to keep a room comfortable that’s not being used.

• Check your ductwork to ensure there are no leaks. Leaking air, whether it’s hot or cold, will keep a unit working longer than necessary to reach your desired setting. 

• Check your windows and doors for leaks. Caulking or weather stripping doors and windows can help seal air leaks and prevent cold or hot air from coming inside.

• Clean/change filters to your heating/air conditioning system(s) as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter means your unit is working harder than it needs to in order to keep you comfortable. 

• In the cooler months, take advantage of heat from the sun by opening shades and drapes for sun-facing windows to let the sun help heat your home. Close these at night or during overcast days to help insulate your home from the cold. Keep them closed during the summer months, when you don’t need any extra heat warming your home. 

• Cover drafts where you can. An easy and inexpensive way to cover your windows is with heavy-duty clear plastic sheets on the frame. Just make sure the plastic is tightly sealed to the frame. 

• Reduce heat loss from your fireplace. Make sure the damper is closed unless you have a fire burning. Otherwise, warm air can escape through the chimney. 

• If you don’t use your fireplace at all, plug and seal the chimney flue.

• Consider converting to energy-efficient lighting. The most affordable way to do this is by replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs as they burn out. 

“Small, simple adjustments like these can help reduce your utility bill, as well as reduce your impact on the environment. In addition to these tips, the City of Thomasville offers several programs that can help reduce your energy consumption and save on your monthly utilities,” said Mark Parrillo, City of Thomasville customer support supervisor. “Converting to natural gas, participating in our On-Bill Financing or Budget Billing Program, or participating in a free Home Energy Audit are just some of the ways we can help.” 

Natural gas rebates are available to customers adding or converting to natural gas. “

Natural gas is safe, reliable, and energy efficient,” said Parrillo. “Customers can also qualify for rebates of up to $700 when adding or converting to natural gas with the City of Thomasville and enjoy the monthly savings from this energy efficient natural resource.”  

The On-Bill Financing Program is a low-cost funding program for customers looking to purchase or install EnergyStar qualified appliances or systems. 

“This revolving-fund program allows homeowners to install appliances at little to no upfront costs to them, with financing on their utility bill,” he said.  

Budget Billing provides customers with more control over their utility bill with set payment amounts each month. 

“Our staff reviews your utility bills throughout the year to develop an average, making your payment the same each month,” said Cosby. 

Applications for the Budget Bill program can be completed at any time, with open enrollment occurring in April and October. 

“The City of Thomasville is also proud to offer free Home Energy Audits,” said Parrillo. “With a home energy audit, we will perform a personalized assessment of your home, at no charge to you. You’ll receive a detailed report that will identify specific ways that you can save on your utilities.”  

Customers can also take more control of their energy consumption by utilizing the Energy Resource Center available on the City’s website, Thomasville.org.

For more information on energy efficiency through all seasons, or to learn more about the programs offered by the City of Thomasville, call Chelsie Cosby at (229) 227-4092 or visit Thomasville.org.

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