STARKVILLE — Starkville resident Valerie Clifton didn’t realize how many factors went into her monthly electricity bill.
After attending an energy-saving workshop Wednesday hosted by the Starkville Utilities Department and the Tennessee Valley Authority, she said she now has more tools to start cutting that bill each month.
SOUTH held the workshop at the Emerson Family School Discovery Center at 1504 Louisville Street. During the workshop, TVA’s energy consultant, Jim Purcell, taught 21 residents how to make their homes more energy efficient and gave them tips for reducing their electricity bills as winter approaches. and rates go up as people turn on their heaters.
“It was extremely helpful to know the usage percentages and how that relates to the cost of your total bill,” Clifton said. “I didn’t realize that heating and air conditioning were the biggest part of your bill.”
As winter sets in, electricity rates tend to rise as customers turn on their heaters and use more hot water. To counter this, Purcell advised residents to keep their thermostats at 68 degrees this winter and to turn off appliances and central air conditioning when not at home.
He also urged residents to use SUD’s website to monitor their electricity bills and see how they are using their energy at home. If residents use all the tips and advice given during the workshop, they can save up to $350 per year.
“People typically don’t see their energy bill until the end of the cycle (months),” Purcell said. “If they knew how much (energy) they were using each day, they could make better choices.”
SUD Director Edward Kemp told The Dispatch that the workshops are a great tool for reminding residents of the resources available through SUD.
Customers can request free energy audits of their home, showing them exactly where their money is being spent on the bill each month and how energy efficient their home is. The workshops also allow residents to give their opinion on their electrical service.
“We try to provide information and educate our customers on ways to save money,” Kemp said. “We want to equip them so they can manage their bills the way they want. So we think it’s a good opportunity for education and awareness.
At the end of the workshop, SUD distributed free energy toolkits with supplies to help save electricity. Supplies included in the box were thermostats, caulking tubes to seal gaps in vents, and outlet covers, to name a few.
Participant Andrea Agrib said she thought the kits were particularly useful because she was unaware of everyday items she could buy to save electricity.
“It was very helpful to me because I didn’t know you could buy certain things to save energy and weatherstripping for things in your house that you can save a lot with,” Agrib said.
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