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As Temperatures Rise, so can Electric Bills

If you haven't noticed it's hot outside then you've probably been spending a lot of time indoors where your climate is cooled to perfection by an air-conditioner. Speaking of which, you're probably using that A/C a lot. Mitch Gross, spokesman for Connecticut Power and Light, has a few tips on saving energy during the heat wave. It might also help you save money when next month's bill arrives.

Above all, Gross says, "Be smart." There are, he says, logical things to do that will help you use less energy during the extremely hot weather. "Closing the blinds on the southern-facing windows in your home is a start," he says. This will help naturally lower the temperature in the rest of your home.

But if you're not in the rest of your home, don't try to keep it cool. Direct cold air only into rooms that are being used, says Gross. Trying to keep the entire home cool is a waste of energy, he says.

According to Gross, other logical and simple steps will make next month's bill a little more palatable. Among them are changing the filters in air-conditioning units. Clean (or new, if necessary) filters, he says, allow air-conditioners to run more efficiently.

Turning off lights and appliances cannot only lower the bill, it also can actually lower the temperature. Appliances – computers, televisions, etc. – that are "on" emanate heat.

Of course, the oven is a huge heat source when it's on, so a heat wave might be a good time to forgo indoor cooking. Consider firing up the outdoor grill and keep the heat outside.

Can the proverbial grid handle the uptick in usage during the heat? Gross says the company prepares all year for days like this. "Whether it's 100 degrees or 1 degree," he says, "Our job is to keep your lights on. We are prepared."

How are you keeping the temperature -- and your electric bill -- down? Please let me know here.

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