Strategies for energy savings during winter months

Some utilities offer free weatherization programs that can help decrease costs

InvestigateTV - A recent survey by South Carolina-based utility company SaveOnEnergy found that 69% of homeowners noticed higher electricity prices than they were accustomed to over the summer. Energy experts like Saltanat Berdikeeva with SaveOnEnergy said they don’t expect that to decrease this winter.

“Low-income households were hit the hardest,” Berdikeeva said. “They are making the most adjustments in their spending habits to be able to make their ends meet and to be able to pay their bills.”

Berdikeeva said there are a few things you can do this winter to have some measure of control over your energy costs.

First, she said to make sure you winterize your home by looking for obvious drafts and air leaks around doors and windows. Berdikeeva recommended checking with your local utility - some offer free programs and will send someone out to your house to do an energy assessment.

Also, she said to regulate your home temperature this winter. Berdikeeva suggested setting your thermostat to 67-68 degrees during the day and 64-66 degrees at night.

“If you have a baby, a sick person, know elderly person in your home, maybe 70 and 72,” she said. “But walking around in a T-shirt at 60, 76 degrees, you know, comfort level, I think it’s going to cost a lot this winter, unfortunately.”

Other advice from Berdikeeva included opening curtains to let natural light in during the day while closing them at night to keep the heat in.

Finally, you can also search online for the keywords “energy assistance program.” Many states, and even the federal government, offer free programs that will help you with your utility bills.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.