How To Save On Electric Bills As Temperatures Rise

Danville, VA - Residents can expect to see higher electric bills in Danville. City Council approved Tuesday night to increase rates. They will go up in phases. By December, they expect it to cost the average family about $8 more a month. They had to increase rates because the utilities company is about $9 million in debt. The increases will start in July.

Those higher rates come just as summer is starting to heat up and that means you already have higher electric bills to keep you and your home cool, but we do have tips to help.

You've probably already noticed your electric bills have jumped. That's because, Danville Utilities representatives say cooling your house typically makes up for half of your overall electric bill in the summer.

Linda Weir can stand the heat. She spent this scorching day working outside on her garden. But what she can't stand is higher electric bills.

"We have a budget and if we take money from one portion of our budget to fill this out then we have to do without other places," said Weir.

Inside her home, Weir says she takes every precaution possible to lower her energy use. Among them she closes her curtains and blinds and she only uses her air conditioner sparingly. She says those little tricks can make a big difference.

"It puts money in our bank account. We have that money to spend other places," said Weir.

Danville Utilities Accounts Manager Eric Walker says Linda's right on track. He has more tips: turn off lights in rooms you're not using and turn up your thermostat when no one is home.

"Each degree is about a 3% savings on your energy bill," said Walker.

Also, Walker recommends to regularly check and change your air filter.

"A dirty or clogged filter will restrict the air flow and cause the system to run less efficient," said Walker.

Another easy trick: seal windows and doors and insulate your attic. That way you don't lose the cool air you're paying for.

"We do what we can. We have insulation where it can be placed. Not all portions of our house are insulated but if it can be, it is," said Weir.

You can also save by taking advantage of Danville Utilities' rebate programs. They have savings for efficient appliances and even a discount on getting your H-VAC system tuned up.