Saving energy, staying warm: How to keep your Ky. electric bill from spiking in winter

Kentucky

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ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) – Predictions for a colder winter could mean higher heating bills and Kentucky Power is sharing some tips to help customers prepare their homes or businesses for colder weather.

Kentucky Power says taking some simple measures for energy efficiency can help customers save money and still stay warm and comfortable during the winter months. These include:

  • Have your furnace and ductwork inspected each year. Ketnucky Power says loose or broken ductwork can account for up to 35% of a home’s energy loss.
  • Change your furnace filters every month.
  • Caulk, seal, and weather strip openings from your home to the outside.
  • Increase insulation in your attic. According to Kentucky Power, the recommended level is R-38 or 10-16 inches blown.
  • Use your fireplace sparingly unless it is equipped specifically for home heating. Warm air can escape through the chimney, so Kentucky Power encourages closing the damper when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Maintain consistent temperatures in your home. Kentucky Power says using a programmable thermostat can help heat pump customers gradually change settings to limit their use of the costly emergency heating mode.
  • Open drapes and shades on south-facing windows to let sun and heat into your home during the day. Close them at night to conserve heat.
  • More ideas to help save energy are available at www.kentuckypower.com/savings/.

Kentucky Power says community action agencies also offer several programs including the company’s HEART and THAW winter assistance programs.

The Home Energy Assistance in Reduced Temperatures (HEART) program provides income-qualified residential customers who have electric heat with $115 per month of assistance between January and April and $58 to non-electric heat customers during that time. Applications for the HEART program begin in November.

The Temporary Heating Assistance in Winter (THAW) helps customers facing hardships and who are in need of more limited assistance. Those who qualify can receive up to $175 toward their electric bill. The program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis between January and April or until the designated funds run out. Applications for the program begin Jan. 10, 2021.

Those looking to apply can find their local community action agency office at www.capky.org.

Kentucky Power says their customers can also sign up for an average monthly payment plan designed to level out bills over a 12-month cycle based on a rolling 12-month average to avoid summer and winter rate spikes.

According to Kentucky Power, any customers who do not qualify for HEART OR THAW, but are still struggling to pay their electric bill can get help through the company’s 24-hour Customer Operations Center by calling 1-800-572-1113 to discuss payment options. They can also visit the company’s website.

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