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Press release from PR Newswire

Georgia Power offers summer energy tips to help save customers money and beat the heat

Monday, June 04, 2012

Georgia Power offers summer energy tips to help save customers money and beat the heat14:32 EDT Monday, June 04, 2012ATLANTA, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As Georgia moves into the hot summer months, Georgia Power has some energy tips to keep customers cool and comfortable and help lower their monthly power bills.  Combined with Georgia Power's fuel rate decrease that went into effect June 1, customers could save $100 per year or more in energy costs.  (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050216/CLW066LOGO )"Georgia Power is committed to finding ways to help our customers save money and stay comfortable all summer long," said Angela Strickland, director of Energy Efficiency. "Making even a few changes can help customers save up to 15 percent on their annual energy bills. A great place to start is with our online energy checkup. This tool allows customers to create a customized report based on their actual energy use and receive personalized tips and recommendations on how to use energy more efficiently."Keeping coolDuring the summer, the air conditioner is usually the biggest user of electricity.  For many homes, it accounts for more than half of the summer electric bill. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and leave it there.  For every degree below that setting, you'll use 3 percent to 4 percent more electricity.  Set the thermostat even higher when at work or away from home for long periods of time, but no more than five degrees higher. Invest in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts your home's temperature to your schedule, so you're comfortable when at home and save energy while away.  Change or clean your air conditioner filter regularly to maximize the unit's cooling potential.  Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency. Check your windows and doors for a tight fit.  Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed. Use fans whenever possible.  Ceiling fans can make the air in a room feel 6 degrees cooler and allow you to save energy.  However, remember to turn them off when you're not in the room.Proper insulation   Increasing attic insulation can reduce heat loss/heat gain by up to 28 percent.  Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow.  The higher the R-value, the better the insulation value. Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-30 or higher, depending on local energy codes, in ceiling areas.Kitchen tipsTry to use the range instead of the oven.  Or better yet, turn on the microwave or use a pressure cooker.  Both use less power than a standard electric range. Whenever possible, cook a lot of meals at the same time.  This uses less energy than cooking each meal separately.Using the refrigeratorMake sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.  Check them by closing a piece of paper in the door, half in and half out.  If you can pull the paper out easily, you may need to make some adjustments or replace the seal. Set the refrigerator thermostat between 35 and 38 degrees, and your freezer at zero degrees.Clothes washer/dishwasher Turn down your water-heater thermostat.  A setting of 120 degrees is adequate for most homes and will save money and energy. When using the dishwasher, turn off the drying cycle if you don't need the dishes right away. Run the dishwasher, dryer and stove in the morning or after the sun goes down to avoid adding heat to your house during the hottest part of the day. Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it.  Partial loads use just as much water and power as a full load. Dry clothes in consecutive loads so the dryer does not have to reheat every time.  Always clean the lint filter after each load.ENERGY STAR AppliancesLook for the ENERGY STAR brand when purchasing new appliances.  ENERGY STAR rated appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers use 10 percent to 50 percent less energy and/or water when compared to standard appliances.LightingChange the most-used lights in your home to ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs ? they use 75 percent less energy than standard lighting and last up to 10 times longer.  Also, ENERGY STAR qualified CFL bulbs generate 75 percent less heat. Visit Georgia Power's website at www.georgiapower.com for an interactive, online energy checkup and to learn about rebates Georgia Power offers through its Home Energy Improvement Program to help you save money and energy.  To schedule a free in-home energy audit, call 1-800-524-2421 and select option 3.Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity.  The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average.  Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.  Twittercue:  To beat the summer heat and save money on your energy bills, check out these @GeorgiaPower tips. http://bit.ly/9cP2zh SOURCE Georgia PowerFor further information: Media Relations, +1-404-506-7676 or 1-800-282-1696, www.georgiapower.com