Energy providers urge conservation as heat wave approaches

Energy companies are urging you to manage your energy use in anticipation of this heat wave.

Officials with Duke Energy, the state’s largest power supplier, says that the hot weather can lead to higher energy bills, while others say that energy conservation is needed to avoid possible blackouts. Tips include:

– Setting your AC to the highest comfortable setting. Duke says that Energy Star says a 78-degree setting is the most efficient.

– Don’t cool an empty house. If you’ll be out and about, program your thermostat to work around your schedule.

– Close the blinds. Shutting drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day can keep the sun’s rays from heating your house.

– Grill outdoors. Cooking in the oven and on the stove-top creates a lot of indoor heat.

– Use fans in occupied rooms. Make sure they are set to operate in a counterclockwise direction.

– Turn off unnecessary lights. And use energy-efficient light bulbs.

– Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. And keep the door closed as much as possible to keep the cool air inside.