LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - With record temps hitting central Arkansas hard, big energy bills can catch customers off guard.
That's why Entergy Arkansas is offering several programs to help customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint.
Two of the most popular programs are Home Energy Solutions and Summer Advantage.
Home Energy Solutions is for customers to receive anywhere from $75-$500 towards investing in energy efficiency measures could yield them the most savings.
Meanwhile the Summer Advantage Program helps reduce peak demand by installing a Direct Cycling Unit (DCU) on your home's biggest user of electricity, the air conditioner. During periods of increased demand, Entergy can activate the DCU causing the air conditioner compressor to run less than before.
Entergy Arkansas also recommends following some or all of the following energy saving tips and you'll see that conserving energy is not only good for the environment, it's good for your wallet.
Seal the Duct Work
In eight out of ten houses in the South, leaky ducts waste more energy than any other problem. To stop this energy loss, your ductwork should be made airtight -everywhere ducts attach to vents, each other and the heating/cooling unit. Use mastic (preferred) or foil tape. Some do-it-yourselfers can handle this job; other homeowners may want to hire a professional.
Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Every home has lights, and new compact fluorescent light bulbs can save a lot of energy. They cost more, but they last much longer than regular incandescent bulbs. In fact, compact fluorescents can save enough energy to pay for themselves twice.
Add Attic Insulation
About half of all homes have attics with insufficient insulation. A good rule of thumb is that if you have less than six inches of insulation, you need more. In general, you would benefit from up to 12 inches of attic insulation. Insulation is rated by "R-values." In the attic, you should insulate at least to R-30, or six to eight inches. Insulate walls as much as their thickness allows, and floors to at least R-19, or six inches. Cellulose insulation is recommended.
Wrap your Water Heater
In most homes, insulating your water heater and the pipes that lead to and from it is the single most cost effective improvement you can make. A water heater jacket can be purchased for as little as $10 to $15, and you can install it yourself.
Seal other Air Leaks
Air infiltration from the outside is another huge energy loser. In a drafty home, the air may "turn over" several times an hour, meaning that the home's entire volume of air must be reheated or recooled that often. A tight house sees a complete air exchange only once every two to three hours.
(Source: Entergy Arkansas)