SCE&G Offers Tips to Help Customers Get Ready for Winter

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

It’s Winter Weather Preparedness Week in South Carolina and SCE&G is encouraging customers to take energy- and cost-saving measures before cold, winter temperatures arrive.

“If this winter is anything like last year’s, it’s a good idea to prepare now,” said Ginger Greenway, manager of energy information services for SCE&G. “Start with your thermostat by setting the temperature to 68 degrees or lower. If your family isn’t comfortable at that setting, try lowering your thermostat 1 degree and waiting a few days to see if your comfort level changes. Do this as many times as you can to see how close you can get to 68 degrees.”

Follow these five tips to prepare for cold, winter weather:

- Have your HVAC system serviced by a professional. Regular maintenance can extend the life of your system while maintaining optimum efficiency.

- Check heating and air conditioning filters monthly. Dirty filters not only increase energy usage, they can also damage your HVAC system.

- Upgrade your attic insultation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches). Also, never cover attic soffit vents with insulation – use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.

- Caulk, seal and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings to protect against drafts. Make sure your house is sealed tight by checking for ductwork leaks or tears. You can repair fallen or crushed ductwork with mastic to seal leaks, and duct wrap can be used to insulate ductwork that passes through unconditioned spaces.

- Adjust your drapes and blinds according to the time of day. To benefit from the sun’s natural warmth, keep your drapes and blinds open during daylight hours. Close them during the night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Also, insulated or heavy curtains – especially on north-facing windows – may help keep cold air out.

“A common misperception is that it takes more energy to heat a home than it does to keep it warm consistently,” said Greenway. “Turning the thermostat down in the winter will always save energy. It’s best to only heat your home as much as necessary, based on occupants and time of day. If you have a heat pump, remember to only move the thermostat up 1-2 degrees at a time to avoid unnecessarily activating the auxiliary heat, or heat strips.”

Customers who want to avoid seasonal bill increases due to weather-related fluctuations in energy use may be eligible for budget billing. To determine customers’ monthly budget billing payment amount, SCE&G averages their 12 previous bills and the projected cost of energy over the next 12 months, and then divides that amount into 12 equal payments.