ASHLAND, Ky. November 1, 2023 – Preparing now for winter can make a big difference in electric bills over the next several cold weather months, according to Kentucky Power leadership.
Following recommendations that help make your home as energy efficient as possible is the first step to saving money this winter, said external affairs and customer services vice president, Amy Elliott.
“It’s our priority to ensure our customers have access to information on how to be more energy efficient,” Elliott said. “On our website, customers can find many tips and tools to improve energy efficiency, as well as payment plans and information about assistance programs that help manage winter bills.”
According to Elliott, bills are typically higher in the winter due to increased usage of electricity.
“With cold weather comes higher demand for electricity to power and heat homes and businesses,” she said. “We also encourage customers to understand how heat pumps and space heaters can increase usage. In the winter, heating systems run longer, work harder and use more energy. When temperatures drop below freezing, your heat pump operates in auxiliary mode which uses less efficient electric resistance heat to help keep your home warm.”
There are many ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency to reduce usage and help save money:
- Have your furnace and ductwork inspected annually. Loose or broken ductwork can account for 35 percent of a home’s energy loss.
- Change furnace filters every month.
- Caulk, seal, and weather strip any air leaks.
- Increase attic insulation. Recommended level: R-38 or 10-16 inches blown.
- Unless it is equipped specifically for home heating, use your fireplace sparingly. Warm air escapes through the chimney. Close the damper when the fireplace is not being used.
- Maintain consistent temperatures. A programmable thermostat can help heat pump customers gradually change settings to limit use of the costly emergency heating mode.
- Open drapes and shades on south-facing windows to let in sun and heat during the day. Close them at night to keep the heat in and cold out.
Kentucky Power also offers payment plans, like the Average Monthly Payment (AMP) plan, which will help customers avoid weather-related spikes in their bills.
“AMP evens out payments over a 12-month cycle, which is especially helpful in cold weather when usage is typically at its highest,” Elliott said. “Customers who choose this plan know what their bill payment will be each month making it easier to manage their budget.”
Some customers may sign up for payment assistance through Community Action Partnership programs including Kentucky Power’s HEART and THAW winter assistance programs, as well as LIHEAP assistance program. Customers can find their local community action agency office at KentuckyPower.com/assistance.
The Home Energy Assistance in Reduced Temperatures (HEART) program is available for income-qualified customers and provides participating residential customers who have electric heat with $115 of assistance each month January to April. Qualifying customers with non-electric heat can receive $58 a month for those same four months. HEART applications are being accepted starting Nov. 1 by Community Action and LIHEAP applications will be accepted starting Monday.
Temporary Heating Assistance in Winter (THAW) can assist customers facing a hardship and in need of more limited assistance. Qualified customers can receive up to $175 toward their electric bill. The program is available January through April or until designated funds are depleted on a first-come, first-served basis. THAW applications are typically accepted around the first week of January.
Customers who do not qualify for either HEART or THAW can still get help by contacting Kentucky Power. Customers should the company’s 24-hour Customer Operations Center at 1-800-572-1113 to discuss payment arrangements and options or by going to KentuckyPower.com/assistance.
“We want our customers to know that there are ways we can help and always encourage customers to call our customer service
Kentucky Power, an operating company in the AEP system with headquarters in Ashland, provides service to about 163,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties.