North Carolina residents can take advantage of a wide variety of strategies and programs to increase energy efficiency and save money on electricity bills. Check below for tips and resources to help keep your energy costs low.
Energy Efficiency at Home
Many households can benefit from an energy audit or assessment; these may be available free through your utility provider or you can conduct your own simplified energy audit at home. Energy audits will show you the ways you can improve the energy efficiency of your home and will likely show you how to achieve the most savings with the least investment.
Homeowners can use energy efficiency strategies to create significant savings every month at low or no cost. Raising the thermostat setting in the summer (recommended 78 degrees) and lowering it in the winter (recommended 68 degrees) can make a significant difference. This is especially useful when away from home or on on vacation. Reducing your water heater temperature to about 120 degrees will also save on your bill.
Using fans in the summer will allow you to use a higher air conditioning setting and still be comfortable, this is especially effective during the long sleeping periods at night. Using lighter weight bedding in the summer and heavier blankets in the winter will help with comfort in those seasons. Turning off lighting and media when not needed can also reduce bills.
Some simpler low-cost energy efficiency strategies include insulating your water heater and exposed hot water pipes, using weatherstripping and caulking to seal gaps and holes around piping penetrations and cracks, and replacing older lighting with new LED lighting.
Energy Efficiency Assistance
To learn about energy efficiency opportunities in your area, use the database of state incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency. This tool allows customers to input their ZIP code and find energy efficiency incentives and policies that apply to that location.
There are several income-qualified programs in NC that will provide either free or reduced cost weatherization, HVAC replacement, and home repair services households with lower incomes. Each program has their own requirements and eligibility.
The NC Weatherization Assistance Program provides a range of weatherization services to low-income households.
County social services offices may run utility bill assistance programs that provides one-time utility bill payments. Eligibility information is available here.
Duke Energy customers may be able to access energy saving programs through the Neighborhood Energy Savers Program. Customers not in Duke Energy service territories can contact their utility to find out about other energy efficiency and renewable energy services and programs that they may qualify for.
The NC Housing Finance Agency operates a number of emergency repair and rehabilitation programs. These programs can offer roofing, plumbing and other repairs that impact safety or health. The programs are generally for elderly or low-income households. Find out about eligibility and services here.