With summer on the horizon and temperatures getting warmer, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) customers can control their energy use in a number of ways to reduce cooling costs.
Making homes more energy efficient this summer can involve something as simple as closing curtains and doing laundry later in the day. They can also include longer-term steps such as using “smart” power strips or installing a programmable or WiFi-enabled thermostat.
In addition, I&M customers who have not completed the Online Energy Checkup within the past three years can receive free LED lights and other energy-saving materials.
Let’s look first at some of the easiest ways you can save energy, at no cost to you:
• Turn off lights in empty rooms and when they are not needed.
• Keep refrigerator door closed as much as possible.
• Take shorter showers – they require less hot water.
• Lower your hot water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. Some are originally set at 140. This can save hundreds of dollars a year.
• Use cold water when washing clothes.
• Set your clothes dryer on a cooler setting; hang clothes dry when practical.
• Make sure your ceiling fan is set to run counterclockwise in the summer, pushing cooler air down.
• If using an air conditioner, close outside doors and windows.
• Set your air conditioner thermostat to as high a temperature as you can be comfortable.
• Turn off and unplug appliances when not in use. Many appliances use energy on standby power even if “off” – and eliminating this “phantom” energy can reduce household energy use by as much as 10%. Examples include devices with remote control (TVs, DVDs); devices with a “black box” power supply (printers, cable modems); chargers (cell phone, tablet, laptop); or appliances with a continuous display (clocks and devices with digital clocks).
• Close curtains and shades on south-facing windows to block sunlight and heat during the day.
• Avoid using heat-producing appliances such as ovens or dryers during the hottest parts of the day.
• Move furnishings away from floor or return air vents.
• Clear high grass and other vegetation close to your outside a/c unit.
Here some other steps you can take that are more permanent but may involve up-front costs:
• Inexpensive plastic deflectors can direct air under tables and chairs.
• Aerators that easily screw into bathroom and kitchen faucets reduce water use – reducing water heater use. Efficient showerheads can also reduce water use.
• “Smart” power strips can help reduce “phantom” energy use.
• Use light-colored shades and window coverings.
• Install a cover above your attic hole or hatch.
• Safely repair and/or apply weather-stripping to air leaks in the home – about 10 to 25% of energy used to cool homes escapes via air leaks. Areas to check include dropped ceilings, recessed lighting, attic entrances, ducts, door frames, window frames, electrical outlets and switches and plumbing/utility access.
• Install a programmable or WiFi-enabled thermostat to set temperatures warmer when you are away from the house. You can reset to the cooler temperature before you arrive home.
• Increase your attic insulation if joists are showing.
• Install awnings on windows that get excessive sun in the late afternoon.
I&M has programs and tips devoted to helping you save. Go to IndianaMichiganPower.com/Save and scroll down to the “Energy Saving @ Home” section. There, you will find information about:
• If you haven’t taken advantage of I&M’s Online Energy Checkup in the past three years, I&M can send you free LED lightbulbs and other energy-saving materials. Click on the “Online Energy Checkup” at the Web page listed above.
• Rebates available for qualified home heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Click on “HVAC and Energy Saving Products.”
• Appliance recycling. I&M will offer a $40 rebate for customers with qualifying refrigerators or freezers. Click on “Appliance Recycling” at the Web page above or call 800-253-5661 to schedule your no contact, outdoor pickup.
With the summer months coming, many customers experience higher energy costs. One way to help manage the cost is with I&M’s Average Monthly Payment Plan, which bases your bill on a rolling average of the previous 12 months. With this plan, there is no lump-sum or “settle-up” payment at the end of a 12-month period.
For more details, and to see if you qualify, please call I&M Customer Service at 800-311-4634 if you are in Indiana or, if you are in Michigan, 800-311-6424. Also, please call I&M Customer Service if you believe you may have difficulty paying your bill. Our Customer Service professionals can review your situation and recommend appropriate plans or assistance. More information is available at IndianaMichiganPower.com/Assistance.
I&M encourages all of our customers to have a safe, healthy and enjoyable summer.
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 599,000 customers. More than two-thirds of its energy delivered in 2019 was emission-free. I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.