REC Offers Tips for Understanding Your Bill

July 27, 2016

With heat indexes topping 105 this week, REC wants to ensure that members understand their energy usage and how it translates to their electricity bill. Members will likely see higher electric bills as a result of higher temperatures and humidity levels that cause air conditioning units to work harder to keep homes cool.

Weather, however, doesn't have to play havoc with electricity bills. REC offers energy saving tips and tools at as well as programs to help members better manage their energy usage and bill.

There are a variety of tools and tips available to solve all sorts of energy challenges. To help reduce energy usage during the summer months, increase the temperature setting on the thermostat by a few degrees; 78 degrees is the ideal temperature. Additional comfort can be achieved by using fans, either ceiling fans or portable fans, to move the cooled air and create a breeze. But remember, fans only cool people and not rooms; turn them off when a room is empty. To further reduce the workload on your air conditioner, leave curtains closed during the day to keep out sunlight and heat; minimize the opening and closing of exterior doors; and make sure your home's air filters are clean.

"In summer heat, many homeowners turn down their thermostats, keep ceiling fans running more often, or maybe plug in additional fans throughout their home," said REC energy advisor Paul Gillespie. All of these can result in a higher-than-normal electric bill. The season can affect energy use in other ways, too. People spend more time inside, often watching TV, playing video games, or using computers. And with the weather being hot and sticky, people take more showers and do more laundry, all things that use electricity.

REC provides electric service to over 161,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.