THOMASVILLE — As winter arrives and cooler temperatures head our way, the City of Thomasville would like to provide the community with some tips to save energy and reduce their utility costs during the cold weather months. Most of these tips can be implemented with little, if any, costs associated.

• Set your thermostat between 66-68 degrees and even lower, or completely off, when you’re away.

• Close warm air supply registers for rooms that aren’t in use.

• Check your heating ducts to ensure there are no leaks.

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

• Clean/change filters to your heating/air conditioning system(s).

• 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.

• Dress in warmer clothes and use additional layers to help insulate and keep in your body heat. Adding extra blankets to your bed at night can also help keep you warm. 

• Turn down your water heater. Your water heater may be heating your water much hotter than necessary. Suggested water heater settings range between 115 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Turn off lights and unplug appliances when they’re not in use. Many appliances still use electricity, even when they are in standby mode.

• Use lower wattage bulbs or energy-saver bulbs. 

• Install water-saver shower heads to reduce hot water usage during showers.

• Cover the draft 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’ve got a fire burning. Otherwise, you’re letting all your warm air go right up the chimney. 

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

“These small changes can yield big savings, especially when we experience a particularly cold winter snap like we did earlier this year,” said Chelsie Cosby, Customer Experience Liaison. 

Aside from these helpful tips, the City of Thomasville provides several other ways customers can take better control of their home energy costs. 

“For customers who want to better understand their energy usage and look for ways to lower costs, we provide an online tool. The HomeEnergyCalculator can be found on our website at www.thomasville.org and offers residential customers a complete analysis of their energy use based on simple information they provide,” Cosby said.

Another way that City of Thomasville Utilities customers can save on their monthly bills is by taking advantage of the On-Bill Financing Program. This program allows the City of Thomasville to provide eligible customers with zero percent financing for the installation of energy efficient upgrades to their homes, including replacing older models with approved ENERGY STAR appliances, including:

• Refrigerators

• Freezers

• Washing machines

• Dishwashers

• Water heaters

• Qualified central heating and air conditioning equipment, including natural gas furnaces

• Home weatherization services, such as:

• Installation of insulation

• Air sealing and caulking

• Duct sealing and insulation

“We also provide energy audits to customers with our utility services at no charge,” Cosby continued. “We have had tremendous success with these energy audits, with some customers seeing monthly utility bill reductions of nearly $100, all from making small changes in their daily lives.” 

For more information on energy efficiency, the On-Bill Financing Program, or free Energy Audits, customers are encouraged to contact the City of Thomasville’s Customer Care Department at (229) 227-7001.