Alabama Power offers energy-saving tips for summer weather

BIRMINGHAMHot temperatures of Alabama summers can cause air conditioners to run a lot to keep us cool.  And even though Alabama Power has reduced electricity rates four times in the past year, a constantly-running air conditioner will cause your usage and electric bill to be higher.


To help, Alabama Power offers the following tips to help customers stay comfortable, conserve energy and hold down electric bills:


·         Clean or change your air conditioner filter regularly. A dirty filter cuts down on airflow and reduces efficiency. Air conditioners are the biggest source of electric use during the summer. In many homes, air conditioning costs can account for more than half the electric bill.


·         Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or slightly higher and use ceiling or box fans to keep air circulating in your home. Remember that ceiling fans used for cooling should turn in a clockwise rotation.  The monthly savings could be between 3 percent and 5 percent. Raise the thermostat higher when away from home for extended periods.


·         When buying a new air conditioning unit or heat pump, select one with a higher seasonal energy efficiency rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the unit.


·         Close drapes or blinds during the day to reduce heat from direct sunlight.


·         Use compact fluorescent lights (CFL) instead of standard incandescent light bulb bulbs. CFLs use 75 percent less electricity, last about 10 times longer and produce the same amount of light with less heat generated.



·         Make sure exterior windows and doors close snugly. Apply weather-stripping and caulking where needed. Proper insulation can make a big difference in keeping a house cooler in the summer.


·         Add insulation in the attic. Better insulation can save as much as 30 percent on cooling and heating costs. Insulation is measured in

“R-value.” A higher R-value means better insulation. Experts recommend R-30 in ceilings.


Kitchen tips

·         Instead of heating the oven on hot days, use the microwave. If you are using the oven, avoid opening the door, which can let out 20 percent of the heat. Use a cooking timer instead. When using the stovetop, choose pans that match the size of the burners. This cuts down on heat lost to the air.


·         Use the dishwasher only when you have a full load. Smaller loads use the same amount of water and power. If you don’t need the dishes right away, turn off the heated drying cycle.


In addition to energy-saving tips, customers can get a customized Energy Check Up in as little as five minutes by going to

Customers can take the quick checkup or the full checkup and get customized information on ways to save on their energy bill. Both checkups will issue a full report.


Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state.  



News Media Contact: Keisa Sharpe, 205-257-4155