Even though winter brings colder temperatures, you can take the sting out of your energy bill.
You can prepare for cold weather by enrolling in the Budget Billing equal payment plan so your monthly bill is a set amount, make your home energy efficient, and if you need help paying your bill, apply for assistance through the Share the Light Fund.
Share the Light Fund has replaced Duke Energy assistance programs in Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina and Ohio. The company has provided $2.8 million in bill payment assistance through October of this year.
Duke Energy is working to improve access to programs for low-income customers and disadvantaged communities.
“With many customers still recovering from the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, providing assistance to our vulnerable customers is more important than ever,” said Barbara Higgins, a senior officer on the customer team. “The Share the Light Fund makes it easier for customers to give and get help.”
Customers who didn’t qualify for support before may be eligible now because of expanded eligibility criteria during the pandemic. Increased levels of assistance may be available for those who qualified and have already received help.
The cost of natural gas has risen worldwide since January 2021, and customers may notice higher bills this winter as they heat their homes. Electric customers are affected because of the higher cost of natural gas to fuel power plants.
Duke Energy buys natural gas at the best price for customers and does not control the cost of natural gas or make a profit from it. The company is encouraging customers to be more energy efficient to avoid bill surprises.
8 energy efficiency tips
- Seal your home. One of the quickest energy-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weatherstrip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside and furnace and central air conditioner ducts. This can save 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills.
- Install smart thermostats. Set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting. Installing a smart or programmable thermostat will reduce your energy use. If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specifically designed for use with heat pumps.
- Manage water heating. Set your water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or consider installing an on-demand or tankless water heater that only heats water when you need it.
- Consider insulation. Insulation in your ceiling, floors and walls reduces energy demand, saving you money while improving the comfort of your home.
- Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun to warm the house. Close them at night to help insulate your home.
- Operate ceiling fans in a clockwise direction to push warm air down into the room.
- Change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
- Have the heating and air conditioning system checked regularly to maintain performance. Duke Energy offers qualified customers rebates to help offset the cost of replacing older HVAC units with more energy-efficient ones.