CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - When the temperature drops many people's energy bill rises. Larry Barrett wants to avoid that this year so he had SCE&G come out to his home to do an energy audit.
"Well if it saves energy, it saves money," Barrett said.
The first thing they told him is to keep the thermostat at 68 at this time of the year. Each degree higher can increase heating costs by 10 percent. And with windows, a 16th of an inch gap is equivalent to a hole in your house the size of a grapefruit.
"The main thing is to caulk around the frame so you don't have any draft," Chris Coons said. Coons works for SCE & G and says they audit up to five homes a day.
It's also important to have adequate insulation in the attic. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not insulating the pull down stairs to their attic, essentially leaving a four foot hole in their house.
Further, unplug your appliances, especially those with clocks like the coffee maker. Even when they are off, they can use a fourth the energy they use while they're on. Ditto for cell phone chargers.
The biggest appliance with room for improvemen is the fridge. Make sure the seals are good, and clean the coils once a year. That can cut your costs.
Having a full freezer is a good thing, it takes a lot of energy to cool an empty space so you may want to fill milk jugs with water and put them in there to become ice. Another way to cut costs is to buy compact fluorescent lightbulbs. They cost more at first but they're energy efficient and last for years so you don't buy them as often.
For more information or to schedule an in home audit visit the SCE&G website.