FortisBC reminds customers to prepare ahead to minimize summer energy bills
With B.C.’s southern interior expected to experience extremely hot summer weather, FortisBC Inc. (FortisBC) would like to remind its customers that taking proactive measures to reduce energy use can help minimize higher bills during periods of extreme heat, while still keeping you and your household safe and comfortable. Energy use increases for most B.C. households during the summer months, because as outdoor temperatures increase, cooling systems work harder to keep homes at a comfortable temperature.
While space heating accounts for the majority of total household energy use, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) reports that energy used for space cooling has increased over the past 10 years. Energy use spikes during periods of extreme hot weather as cooling systems run more frequently to maintain a consistent and comfortable temperature inside the home.
Steps to lower air conditioning use as much as possible can help customers budget for the increased energy needed to stay safe and comfortable during periods of extremely hot weather. Here are low and no-cost energy saving tips customers can implement to reduce energy use:
- Cool only the rooms that you’re using.
- Combine air conditioners with a fan to maximize their cooling power and reduce the energy use.
- Set your cooling system’s thermostat two degrees higher than usual and use ceiling fans to circulate the cool air. This can reduce your air conditioning costs by approximately 14 percent.
- Aim to be comfortable, not chilly. NRCan recommends setting the temperature between 25 and 27°C.
- Close blinds, drapes and windows during the day to minimize solar heat gain.
- Caulk gaps and cracks and weatherstrip doors and windows to keep cool air from escaping the home and heat from getting in.
Customers can better understand how they are using energy by monitoring their energy use with tools available through their online FortisBC account. They can also choose billing options that avoid seasonal variations on their bills, such as an equal payment plan. Anyone with concerns about their bill can contact FortisBC to make payment arrangements if needed.
Customers looking for additional ways to save energy in their home or manage their bills can get help from FortisBC. Low-income households may be eligible for additional services, such as a no-cost assessment of their home and insulation upgrades. Find information about this and other helpful tips and programs at fortisbc.com/savingenergy.