Cut energy costs this winter season

According to Duke Energy, residents can start saving energy by reducing their thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting.

GREENSBURG — Duke Energy Indiana is offering local residents tips on how to trim energy use this year.

Duke Energy Indiana is a subsidiary of Duke Energy that provides about 6,600 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.

According to Duke Energy, residents can start by reducing their thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting, and if they have a heat pump, maintain a “moderate” setting or use a programmable thermostat that is specifically designed for use with heat pumps.

Another tip is to leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun to warm the house, and close them at night to help insulate the home.

Heating and air conditioning systems should also be checked regularly to maintain performance, Duke Energy says.

Throughout the winter season, alternative heating is also popular, but the Indiana Department of Homeland Security reports they are also one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States.

Hoosiers who are using alternative heating sources are encouraged to practice proper heating safety and maintenance by keeping the following in mind:

• Home appliances, such as ovens, should never be used for heating. Doing so can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

• Use only dry, seasoned wood in a fireplace or wood stove to avoid the buildup of creosote. Do not use artificial logs in wood stoves.

• Keep all flammable materials, such as draperies, blankets, bedding or upholstered furniture, at least three feet away from space heaters and other types of heating equipment.

Greensburg Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Wenning recently told the Daily News their big concern pertains to power outlets.

“Our big concern is people potentially overpowering outlets,” Wenning said. “Do not overpower outlets, and also do not keep combustibles too close to space heaters.”

Wenning also said to have chimneys inspected before use.

According to Duke Energy, electric space heaters could be costing you. Since many of those space heaters are rated at 1,500 watts, if you use it as a main heating source, costs could be high.

When it comes to lighting, Duke Energy recommends replacing standard incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LED) since LEDS are more efficient while giving off the same amount of light.

Ceiling fans can also be of use by operating them in a clockwise direction, which will push warm air back down into the room.

Lastly, change air filters regular since dirty air filters make a heating system work hard and uses more energy, and set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees to reduce monthly water heating bills.

Joshua Heath can be contacted at 812-663-3111 ext. 217401 or at

Recommended for you