As temperatures drop, here’s how to keep the cost of your electric bill down too

With cold weather forecast this weekend, JEA offers tips for heating homes, protecting pipes

This cold weather is also going to bring with it something else: higher electric bills.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This cold weather is also going to bring with it something else: higher electric bills.

JEA says it’s ready for the cold and it wants to make sure you are too.

Here’s what JEA says you can do to try to hold down the cost of your electric bill and still stay warm.

Utility spokeswoman Karen McAllister says setting your thermostat to 68 degrees is the most energy efficient way to get through this cold snap. McAllister says every degree over that could add an additional 5% to your total electric bill. So, for example, going from 68 to 70 degrees could mean an additional $10 to your electric bill if your bill is normally $200.

Most people with heat pumps also have emergency heating strips inside that come on when it gets too cold for the heat pump to handle. JEA says you want to avoid that from coming on. How do you do that? JEA suggests gradually increasing your thermostat a degree or two at a time and not turning it up all at once.

And with customers turning on the heat, there is going to be a huge demand on the power suuply. McAllister says JEA is ready.

“I can tell you that JEA routinely performed maintenance on its facilities in order to maintain reliability,” McAllister said. “And we have prepared for the upcoming cold weather by bringing generators on to produce electricity to meet the expected demand this week.”

With this cold weather, it’s not only heating your home you need to be worried about, but your pipes might need attention, as well.

When it comes to your pipes, JEA says you really need to worry about exposed pipes — the ones that are on the outside. If you have any exposed pipes, JEA recommends you turn your water faucet on to a slow drip. That way the water will keep moving and hopefully won’t freeze, which could possibly cause a pipe to burst.

RELATED: What you need to know about protecting plants and pipes during cold temperatures | What you need to know about protecting plants and pipes during cold temperatures

JEA staff says they know this weekend could be rough on customers, not just in terms of staying warm, but also for those who have trouble paying the heating bills.

“Throughout the year, 40% of JEA customers struggle to afford basic necessities,” McAllister said. “And we know that during extreme weather times are even tougher for many.”

JEA stresses that if that becomes an issue, there are payment plans and help available for those who need it.

JEA also told News4JAX that there will be no disconnections of electrical service during the weekend.


About the Author:

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.