Cold weather can make an impact on your energy bill

Posted at 10:22 AM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 17:41:37-05

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - Bitterly cold temperatures this week, coupled with two more chances for snowfall, can tax your energy bills.

Tuesday morning Dominion Virginia Power dealt with outages in both Suffolk and Hampton.

Blown transformer causes power outage for hundreds in Hampton

Spokeswoman Bonita Harris says Dominion's system is built to deal with the increased demand when more people use their electricity.

"The main thing is only use the heat when and where you need it. So if you know you’re going to work and no one is going to be home all day, turn the thermostat down," Harris told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Tuesday.

During the winter months, and especially when there is particularly cold weather on tap, Dominion offers these tips to save on your energy consumption:

  • Set your thermostat at a temperature at which you can be comfortable while wearing an extra layer or two of light clothing, such as a sweater. Set it at 68 degrees or lower.
  • Change your air filter in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation. A clean air filter will increase the efficiency of your furnace.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure the flue is closed - when not in use.
  • If you are using the fireplace, turn down your thermostat. This prevents warm heat from escaping through the chimney.
  • On sunny days, open the curtains or blinds to let sunshine in. Remember to close them after the sun goes down.
  • If you have ceiling fans, operate them in reverse so they push the warm air back down.
  • Close the heat registers and doors in rooms that are not being used.
  • You can use towels or old blankets to seal areas at the base of exterior doors where heat often escapes.
  • Increased humidity in your home helps you to feel warmer. Use humidifiers or bring a large pot of water to boil on your stove. Don't forget to turn the stove off.

Safety tips:

  • Check on elderly neighbors, relatives, and friends to be sure they are warm and safe.
  • If using a kerosene or butane heater, make sure the room is well ventilated.
  • If you are using an electric space heater make sure it is well away from flammable objects and that it has a safety switch to turn it off if it gets too hot or tips over.
  • Bring pets indoors.