Cut back on AC use to save money during extreme heat

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Energy usage soars when temperatures rise into the 90s like much of central North Carolina has experienced over the last several days.

At Duke Energy’s Distribution Control Center in Raleigh, operators monitor the system continuously to ensure the power stays on. They are also able to quickly dispatch crews from this location to safely restore power when there are outages.

Even though energy consumption is higher with hotter outdoor temperatures, Duke Energy says they are able to meet the current demand.

“We do see an increase in energy usage during the high temperatures like we’ve seen over the past couple of days. While we are seeing an increase in energy usage, Duke Energy systems are performing well and we have plenty of capacity and energy to meet our customer’s energy needs,” says Meredith Archie, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

Your AC system typically accounts for about half of your monthly energy bill and with temperatures forecast to stay in the 90s over the next several days, there are a few steps you can take to help you save money.

“Don’t cool an empty house. If you’re out and about running errands all day, set your thermostat up. We also recommend to go ahead and bump your thermostat up to the highest comfortable temperature you can. Energy saver recommends 78 degrees and for every degree you go up, you’re saving a little bit more on your cooling bill,” says Archie.

You should also close your curtains and blinds during the day, regularly check your air filters so it takes stress off of your HVAC unit and use ceiling fans to circulate the air around your home.

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