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January Weather Brings Abnormal Energy Usage

Cold winter air brought low temperatures to our service area during the first weekend of January. Wrapped around that cold weather were several weeks of warmer than normal temperatures. These temperature extremes can lead to inconsistent energy usage. Using tools available to track your daily usage and understanding the appliances that consume the most energy can help you better manage your electric bill. 

The chart below shows how the average January usage compares with the energy usage during January of this year. You can access similar graphs of your energy usage by using the myTCEMC mobile app. Through this app, you can see your daily energy usage and set up text alerts to let you know when you have exceeded a set energy use for the day. (78418001) 

Another way to keep your energy bills consistent is to participate in Tri-County’s levelized billing program, which averages the current month’s bill with the last 11 months. This takes the guesswork out of your bill by spreading your yearly billing total over 12 months. More information on Levelized Billing can be found here.

Outside of those tools, employing simple energy conservation tips can add up to big savings in your home. Cutting heating costs during times of extreme cold can be difficult, but there are a few simple adjustments you can make around the house to save energy. Tri-County EMC recommends setting your thermostat to 68 degrees in winter when the home is occupied. If you have a programmable thermostat, consider lowering your temperature 6-8 degrees while you are away. 

During cold days, do your best to avoid heating your home with space heaters. Using space heaters to temper the air in a bathroom for a short period of time may be a good option, but using them to heat the entire house will cost you more than using a heat pump. The amount of energy you would use to run two space heaters could power a central heat pump large enough to heat an 1,800 sq. ft. home.

If you build a fire in your fireplace, be sure to close the damper after it is extinguished. Leaving the damper open creates a path for warm air to escape from your home. 

To find out more about energy use for all of your home’s appliances and other ways to save energy in your home, visit If you would like more information, contact our Energy Services Department to schedule a free in-home energy audit at 1.866.254.8100 ext. 8119.