As electric bills spike during extreme weather periods, S.C. Electric & Gas offers tips for keeping bills down:
Average it out. The utility offers a budget billing program that allows customers to pay the same amount each month – the average based on the previous year’s usage. Call 1-800-251-7234 for details.
Don’t crank it up. Keep the thermostat on 68 if you can. Cranking it up costs more. Throw on an extra sweater or blanket to stay comfortable.
Consider no cost/low cost options. Some easy ways to help cut the electric bill include reversing ceiling fans to spread the warmth, opening blinds to let sun in and shutting them at night to keep warmth in and caulking and adding weatherstripping to doors and windows. An eighth of an inch gap around the door might not seem like much, put added up it would be like having a grapefruit-sized hole in the wall, leaking warm air and letting cold in.
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Vent control. Make sure heating vents are open and unblocked. Close vents in one or two rooms that are not used but don’t close them in a lot of rooms.
Safe heating. If you’re using portable heaters, be safe. Follow instructions strictly and keep them away from flammable materials to avoid sparking a house fire.
Ask for help. If you are having trouble paying your bill, call the customer service center at 1-800-251-7234. Representatives can tell you where to apply for help or set up arrangements to keep your power from being cut off if you need to pay late.