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|Entergy's Solley offers tips to save money|
Local senior citizens received a free energy-saving light bulb and advice on how to lower their energy bills from Entergy's Kenny Solley, who recently visited the West Ouachita Senior Center.
Solley was at the senior center promoting Entergy's "change a light" pledge.
Lighting accounts for about 20 percent of a typical home's energy use, Solley said. So, every light that's changed to an Energy Star light bulb can save an average of $30 in energy costs over its lifetime.
Energy-conserving lights last up to 10 times longer than the regular 60-watt light bulbs, Solley said.
"They do cost a little bit more, but you don't have to change them as often," Solley explained. "So in the long run, you'll save money by changing to these bulbs.
"Normally, we use a 60-watt bulb in our homes for our lamps and ceiling lights. But this bulb, instead of being 60-watts, is only 13-watts, so automatically, you're starting to save money. The unique thing about it is it's only using 13-watts, but it puts out 60-watts of light, and it puts out a lot less heat."
Solley said if 100,000 people in Louisiana changed one light bulb to an Energy Star bulb, it would save up to 46 million kWh of electricity, which is enough to power 21,000 homes for a year.
"That keeps us from having to produce a lot of power that's being wasted," Solley said.
He said people often leave their lights on, and that can increase their electrical bill by 20 percent. "Outside flood lights, carport lights, closet lights…turn them off when you're not using them," Solley said. "And, try to start using these Energy Star light bulbs."
One of the most important things people can do to save energy is to install insulation above their ceiling, Solley said.
"You need at least 12-inches of insulation in your ceiling," he said. "If you don't have at least 12-inches of insulation in your attic, you need to call a local contractor to come to your home and blow it in. It's relatively inexpensive, and the good thing about it is you'll save enough on your electricity bill to pay for that insulation in about one to two years, depending on the size of your house."
Solley also recommended that residents set their thermostat to 78 degrees during the summer.
"Some of you will say that's awfully hot, but if you set your thermostat to 78 degrees and you turn a ceiling fan on, it uses much less energy than your air conditioner, and it can make it feel like it's 72 degrees in your home," he said. "For every degree below 78 degrees, your bill will go up three percent. If you set it to 72 degrees, that six degrees difference will increase your bill by 18 percent."
People should also change their air-conditioning filters each month.
Also, during the summer, Solley recommended residents close off their windows with blinds or drapes to prevent sunlight from making their home much warmer. In the winter, people should open their blinds and drapes to allow for the sun to warm their home and reduce energy use.
"But the summer time is usually when we have those high bills, so close those blinds and drapes. It's a simple thing to do that doesn't cost you any money, but it will save you money," Solley said.
Another way to save energy is to take a shower instead of a hot bath because you'll use less hot water.
Solley also suggested that residents repair any leaky faucets.
"One drip of water out of a leaky faucet can use up to 200 gallons of water a month," Solley said. "If it's a hot water faucet that will pull water out of your hot water tank, and that will cause your unit to kick on and off, using electricity."
People also should use their microwave to heat up food instead of using their stoves. Using a stove can heat up the entire kitchen and cause the air-conditioner to turn on.
For more energy saving tips, visit Entergy's website at www.entergy.com.