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Winter is not over, and with this recent blast of cold weather, Duke Energy is offering some tips for keeping energy costs under control.

“Colder temperatures can make even the most efficient electric heating systems and water heaters work harder to maintain consistent temperatures, and that will show up on your monthly energy bill,” said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of customer services. “Here are some quick and easy tips to help you save energy and money.”

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  • The thermostat is a real culprit of higher winter bills. ENERGY STAR recommends keeping your thermostat below 70 degrees during winter. To learn more about your specific needs, try Duke Energy’s home energy savings calculator located at “save energy and money” at duke-energy.com.
  • One of the easiest things customers can do to support heating efficiency is to change air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a heating system work harder, which uses more energy.
  • Have the HVAC system checked regularly by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor to maintain efficiency and peak performance. Duke Energy offers qualified customers rebates to help offset the cost of replacing older HVAC units with more energy efficient ones.
  • Leave drapes or blinds open during sunny winter days to allow the sun’s rays to warm the house, but close them at night to help insulate your home.
  • Replace standard bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs or light emitting diodes (LED). CFLs and LEDs are more efficient than regular bulbs, while giving off the same amount of light. Visit Duke Energy’s online store for free and discounted bulbs: duke-energy.com/deals.
  • Consider using the cold water setting when doing laundry. And, turn off the “pre-rinse” option in favor of rinsing your dishes before loading them into the dishwasher.
  • Emergency heating devices may not be safe to operate in unventilated areas. If you are using an alternative heating source, please read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Find these and other tips by clicking “save energy and money” at duke-energy.com/winter.

Tools to understand energy use

Duke Energy customers are encouraged to visit duke-energy.com/winter to learn more about easy ways to reduce electric bills and to receive customized energy reports. Reports are available to customers with an online account and offer tips on upgrades and improvements that can make a home more efficient.

Energy assistance programs

Duke Energy offers programs across its service areas that provide financial support to local assistance agencies to help customers with their winter heating costs. Program information is available at duke-energy.com/community/programs/duke-energy-energy-assistance.asp.

Billing and payment options

Duke Energy offers a number of billing and payment options for customer convenience. Free paperless billing and online payment programs are also available. For more information, visit the “billing and payment” page at duke-energy.com.

Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 800,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier.