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Cleco makes conservation easy and inexpensive

Jul 20, 2010

PINEVILLE, La. - Louisianans are feeling the heat as we are in the hottest months of the year - July, August and September. As summer continues, residents are using more electricity as air conditioners struggle to keep pace with the heat. Higher energy use can mean higher electric bills, and Cleco reminds everyone to be energy smart.
"It really isn't hard to conserve energy," said Anthony Bunting, manager of customer service and energy delivery. "The key is being consistent with your efforts and realizing that small changes can produce big returns."

According to Cleco, the biggest user of electricity is air and heating units, which account for about 50 percent of a home's total energy use. The optimum setting for a thermostat during the summer is 78 degrees. By using a fan, a home owner can feel more comfortable with a higher thermostat setting as fans make the air feel about 10 degrees cooler.

"If you are leaving your home for more than a few hours, raising your thermostat about four degrees higher than your normal setting is a good idea," said Bunting. "However, don't drastically lower your thermostat when you return home. It will not cool your home any faster and the air conditioning unit will run longer."

Another easy fix that can impact a person's energy use is setting a water heater's thermostat at 120 degrees. "The water heater is the second largest user of electricity in a home, said Bunting. "Resetting your water heater's thermostat doesn't cost a thing but can save you money."

One more inexpensive way to reduce heat in your home is to close drapes and blinds to keep the sun's rays from warming a room and open them at night to let the heat escape. Also, using heat generating appliances, like a dryer, in the late evening will mean less heat in your home during the hotter times of the day.

Cleco also recommends using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of regular incandescent bulbs. CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last longer. "You don't have to spend a lot of money to see the benefits of energy conservation. You just need to be smart about how you use energy," said Bunting.

For more energy-saving tips, visit