Ways to conserve energy during heatwave in South Georgia

With even higher temperatures approaching, here are a few ways that you can save even during the dog days of summer.
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 3:08 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - South Georgia is pushing further into summer depths, and the heat has been brutal.

This has also caused an increase in electric bills for many due to the constant need for cooling of our homes.

How hot will it get here in SWGA? Temperatures through the weekend of Aug. 26-27 are expected to climb into the upper 90s and low 100s. Highs are not expected to exceed our previous records but will get close. This will not change how hot it will feel either as heat index values will try to exceed 105°.

Temperatures are growing over the next few days in SWGA.
Temperatures are growing over the next few days in SWGA.(WALB)

With even higher temperatures approaching, here are a few ways that you can save even during the dog days of summer.

  • Check that HVAC system. A few things that you can do are change the filter regularly, invest in a programmable thermostat, and try turning the temperatures up a degree or two within your comfort zone.
  • Close those blinds and curtains. This will keep the sun’s rays from heating the house.
  • Run those ceiling fans while in a room and make sure it turns counterclockwise to drive down cool air to the floor.
  • Fire up the grill. This will prevent using the stove and stovetop which creates indoor heat.

Georgia Power Spokesperson Alicia Brown has additional tips for people looking to save some money on their energy bills.

Brown said people can switch to LED light bulbs because they use 75% less energy. Replacing the air filter once a month can make sure that the air conditioning unit is not working too hard to cool down the house.

“We recommend that you put your thermostat on 78 degrees,” she said.

Georgia Power offers different rates for customers such as flat bills, pre-paid plans and an income-driven senior discount. A flat bill allows customers to set their rate for the year. The senior discount gives up to $33.50 off of the monthly bill.

Customers have saved about $48 million in energy assistance, according to Brown.

There are other options available to South Georgians. The Southwest Georgia Community Action Council (SGCAC) offers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help low-income residents pay their cooling costs in the summer and their heating costs in the summer.

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that offers up to $400 that goes toward people’s home heating and cooling costs. The program is designed to target low-income poverty-level families, according to the comptroller and the SGCAC Deputy Director Beverly Holloway. The program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Anyone interested can call one of the numbers on the website that directs them to an automated system that gets them an appointment to see if they qualify for the program.

On the topic of excessive heat, our Grya sister station in Gainesville, WCJB, reported that Florida is leading the nation in children dying in hot cars this year.

6 of the 18 reports of children dying in hot cars came out of Florida.

They reported that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nationwide, a child dies every 10 days from heatstroke after being left in a hot car.