With so many people schooling and working from home, energy use may be higher
TAMPA, May 27, 2020
The pandemic has forced schools and offices to close, pushing many of our typical activities into our homes.
In addition to working from home, customers and their families now spend their days learning online, video chatting, binge-watching shows, charging electronics – not to mention constantly opening the refrigerator door.
This could increase your energy use – and ultimately could affect your power bill. Tampa Electric has seen an increase in residential energy use since the pandemic began. Here are a few ways to use less energy while the whole family is home during the pandemic:
• Set your thermostat at 78 degrees and set the fan on “auto.” Every degree below 78 can add 6 percent to 8 percent to the cooling portion of your power bill. • Use ceiling fans – but only in occupied rooms. Fans cool people, not furniture. For summer, rotate the blades counter-clockwise.• Turn off computers and monitors when not in use, or put them in “sleep” mode. Unplug electronics, gadgets and chargers.• Use the microwave or grill to cook food, to keep the kitchen from heating up.• Set your refrigerator temperature at 37 degrees and your freezer at 5 degrees. Keep the doors closed and properly sealed.• Clean the refrigerator coils quarterly and turn on the power-saver mode, if available.• Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees. Keep showers to under seven minutes.• Consider running your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full.• Close the curtains or blinds in sunny rooms, to keep the heat out.• Clean or replace air conditioning filters each month. This helps the unit run more efficiently. Ensure the filters are installed properly by checking the air-flow arrow.• Check for leaky windows and doors, and don’t forget the fireplace damper, if you have one. During the pandemic, several energy auditors have made videos of energy tips for use at home.
Tampa Electric customers will see significantly reduced bills this summer, plus lower prices for the rest of the year thanks to low natural gas prices. Bills in June through August will be reduced by more than 20 percent, and residential customers will save an estimated $90 on energy costs for the rest of 2020.
To continue to help manage your energy costs during the pandemic, you can complete our free Online Energy Audit that helps to identify ways you can save energy and money. If you prefer to speak with one of our energy experts, we offer a Phone Audit that provides the same valuable information. Just call 813-275-3909 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit tampaelectric.com/save for more energy-savings tips. Our in-person audits will resume when it is safe to do so.
Tampa Electric has been encouraging sustainability for nearly 40 years. In that time, the company has performed more than 575,000 energy audits that help customers use energy more wisely and become more energy-efficient. Tampa Electric offers 36 programs to help residential and business customers reduce their overall energy usage, and ultimately their energy costs. At the end of 2019, more than 1.1 million customers have participated in energy-efficiency programs.
Tampa Electric, one of Florida's largest investor-owned electric utilities, serves about 780,000 customers in West Central Florida. Tampa Electric is a subsidiary of Emera Inc., a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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Tampa Electric is an Emera company.
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