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Think smart—as in smart thermostat


April 18, 2018   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

A smart thermostat can help you save money.

My calendar says it is April, but my mind says it just can’t be. The weather seems to be all over the place this month.

As soon as we have a couple of warm days and I start putting away my winter wardrobe, cold weather sneaks back in.

Trying to keep the people in my house as comfortable as they can be, temperature wise, and keeping an eye on my actual energy consumption and electric bill has almost become a full-time job. If I only had my “smart” thermostat installed already it could do that for me.

What’s the difference between thermostats anyway?

A regular thermostat is one that allows you to manually adjust the temperature of your heating and air conditioning system. Basically, it serves as a control panel for your unit. A programmable thermostat allows you to control your unit by the time of day and day of the week.  Who doesn’t want to be warm and toasty, or cool and comfy, when they... Continue Reading >>

Five Reasons You Won’t Quit This New Year’s Resolution


January 24, 2018   By Carrah Lingo, Public Relations Contractor in Reduce The Use

Set your ceiling fan to turn clockwise in the winter to pull cool air up and disperse the naturally rising warm air.

Happy 2018!

New Year’s resolution season is here. As the new year begins, the opportunity to “clear the slate” and start anew presents itself. We’re excited, we’re pumped, we’re motivated! We’re going to hit the gym regularly and meal prep every Sunday.

One resolution you’ll be more likely to keep? Using energy more efficiently in your home. Here are five reasons this resolution is easy to keep:

Saving $$$ South Carolina is having a colder winter this year, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Turning the heat up puts you in danger of your heat pump’s auxiliary heat kicking on, causing your monthly bill to skyrocket. Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower, and use your ceiling fan to your advantage. Setting your ceiling fan to turn clockwise to pull cool air up and disperses warm air, which naturally rises. Make sure your heating system isn’t working harder than it needs... Continue Reading >>

The Chill from Winter Storm Grayson could scorch your wallet


January 10, 2018   By Susan Mungo in Reduce The Use

Moncks Corner’s Unity Park, located on Main Street, was a winter wonderland in the aftermath of Winter Storm Grayson that dumped 6.5 inches of snow on the town served by Santee Cooper. Overnight temperatures in the teens for several days after the storm that stressed heat pumps will surely result in higher than normal electric bills.

It has been cold!

In fact, South Carolina has seen record setting bitter cold with snow and ice to boot.  Whether you love or hate this kind of weather, one thing is almost certain: If you heat your home with a heat pump, you will see an increase in your electricity bill.

You may say, “But I did not raise my thermostat” or “I was not even home most of the time,” but the real problem is that most people don’t understand exactly how a heat pump works. I used to be one of those people. I just thought if I want to be warmer, I will turn up the thermostat and if I want to be cooler, I will turn it down.

Treating your need to be hot or cold this way may not make a huge difference until you go seven or eight days straight with temperatures below 40 degrees. Myrtle Beach, along with many other areas, went from Jan.1 to Jan.7 with high temperatures around or below 40 degrees and many night time temperatures falling... Continue Reading >>

Light the Night – But Just a Little


November 29, 2017   By Jessica Yourko in Reduce The Use

A timer for your holiday lights will help you more effectively manage your display.

Growing up, my favorite time of year was Christmas.  It still is.

We start decorating early. As the last witch is safely placed in her storage container, the first tree is being stood up in the den. 

Some might say I skip Thanksgiving, but they would be wrong. I celebrate Thanksgiving.  I ate enough food last week to last me until Christmas. Turkey, green beans, yams, and about 27 different kinds of casseroles were on the menu. Now tell me, would Thanksgiving really be Thanksgiving without a casserole? 

As a child, on Thanksgiving afternoon we started decking our halls. My grandmother would remind us that we didn’t need to put up too many lights. Her philosophy was the more lights you put up, the more your electric bill goes up. In some ways, that was true. 

She also believed that at Christmas, everyone paid for everyone else’s Christmas lights. She thought the electric company had a bucket... Continue Reading >>

No reason not to fully embrace the LED light bulb


October 11, 2017   By Willard Strong in Reduce The Use

LED light bulbs have come down in price dramatically.

If you’ve put off changing out incandescents and/or CFLs to LEDs, the U.S. Department of Energy says LED bulb prices have dropped in price by 85 percent over the last few years!

Now, or the upcoming holiday season is the time to act. Smaller homes have about 20 light bulbs, larger ones about 40. Changing out a 20-bulb house to LEDs costs about $100, or $5 a bulb. To many consumers, that’s a big outlay. Is there a payoff?

According to the June 9, 2017, issue of USA Today, “The longer shelf life of LED lights makes up for the extra expense with savings on your energy bill.”

The Consumer Federation of America stated this past summer that over a 10-year period, switching to LEDs can help consumers save approximately $1,000 over 10 years, which translates to about $8.33 a month.

Choices (dimmable and nondimmable) abound in today’s LED light bulb smorgasbord. Even grocery stores, not just the big-box,... Continue Reading >>