Top 5 ways to prepare for cold weather season
Frigid temperatures graced us with an early presence this year. Lower temperatures typically mean higher energy bills because you use more energy to power things like heaters. Your Co-op is here to make sure you’re well prepared to weather the season.
Beware of cold weather energy hogs.
These commonly used winter tools can really increase your electric bill! Make sure you’re aware of how much energy they use so those bills don’t catch you off guard. (Costs are based on our mid-tier residential rate of $.0784 per kWh.)
- Space Heaters – Running one 1500-watt space heater continuously for one month will cost you nearly $85! If you must use them, don’t waste money – only heat rooms while you’re spending time in them.
- Engine Block Heaters – If you plug in over-night, every night for a month the operating cost for one block heater is just over $40!
- Heat Tape – A 50’ section of heat tape will run you approximately $14/month.
Avoid seasonal highs and lows with Budget Billing.
Our Budget Billing option helps stabilize your monthly electric bills. The program uses your average electrical usage over the past year to determine your monthly bill amount, so you will not experience seasonal highs and lows.
Take advantage of winter energy saving tips.
- Lower your thermostat at night and when you’re not home. Use a programmable thermostat so it’s automatic. Every degree lower can take 2 percent off your power bill.
- Open curtains on south facing windows during the day to allow the warmth from the sun to help heat your home. Cover all windows at night to help block cold.
- Weather strip or seal around your doors and windows and anywhere else you feel a draft.
- Fix broken ducts and replace cracked or peeling tape on ducts.
- Close your fireplace damper when there’s no fire.
- Purchase LED holiday light strings to reduce the energy use of your holiday décor.
- View more tips here.
Be prepared in case of a power outage.
Power outages can happen anytime – sometimes during the harshest weather. Keep flashlights or lanterns readily available for immediate needs, and prepare winter weather safety kits for your home and vehicle. If your electrical service is critical or you rely on life support equipment, have a stand-by generator available or make arrangements in advance to go to an alternate location as a precautionary measure.
Get assistance if you need it!
We never want our members to be disconnected, but we are especially concerned during the cold winter months. Flathead Electric Cooperative offers resources to help our members keep the power on when times are tough. Please contact us or visit Low Income Assistance if you are having trouble paying your electric bill.
NOTE: If your account is 30 days past due, your service may be subject to disconnection. Flathead Electric Cooperative follows a disconnect policy set by our Board of Trustees (we are not governed by the Public Service Commission). Per our policy, we never disconnect power when the predicted overnight low temperature is 15 degrees or colder.