AKRON, Ohio, — With the possibility of below-zero temperatures affecting much of the eastern United States this week, FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities remind customers of steps they can take to better manage energy bills that may climb as the frigid weather lingers.
Based on current forecasts, the areas served by Mon Power in West Virginia; Potomac Edison in Maryland and West Virginia; Metropolitan Edison, Pennsylvania Electric Company, West Penn Power and Pennsylvania Power in Pennsylvania; and Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey could see single-digit temperatures or lower throughout the week.
Tips for saving energy through continued cold weather include:
- Make sure your home is properly insulated to help reduce heat loss. Inspect doors and windows and apply caulk or weather stripping where necessary to keep cold air out. Close drapes, blinds and garage doors to retain heat.
- Keep your thermostat at a temperature where you feel comfortable. Each degree lower has the potential to save about 2 percent on your heating bill. Install a programmable thermostat and it will do the work for you.
- Have a professional tune-up and inspect your furnace.
- Clean or replace the furnace filter to improve efficiency.
- Make sure heat can get into the room. Keep furniture and drapes from blocking heat registers and return vents.
- Use a sturdy fireplace screen when using a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- Never use a gas stove, charcoal grill or lantern intended for outdoor use inside your home as it could lead to a buildup of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
- Exercise caution with space heaters. Only use heaters designed for indoor use, and keep all heat sources at least three feet away from curtains, carpet or furniture that could catch on fire. Know that despite their small size, space heaters have the potential to use a lot of electricity as they provide heat.
- Close the vents in rooms that are not being used.
- Avoid frozen pipes by opening faucets and maintaining a constant drip, or wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspapers.
- Keep electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers fully charged to be ready for any emergencies.
- Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy in the event a power interruption occurs.
- Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.