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News Safety & Reliability Savings December 23, 2021

Load up on cookies not kilowatts this holiday season

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Load up on cookies not kilowatts this holiday season

Cold weather can mean high electricity bills, so conserve when you can over the next week

After Santa’s job is done this holiday season, it’ll be time for your furnace to work overtime heating your home during what promises to be some very cold days.

An extreme cold snap is forecast for next week and energy bills generally rise when temperatures drop. This is due to an increase in energy use as furnaces and heaters work extra hard to keep the inside of the home warm. A typical January energy bill can be double or more compared to a July bill.

All PUD customers, but especially those whose homes are electrically heated, can benefit from these easy and inexpensive tips for conserving energy during cold weather:

  • Layer up and lower the thermostat: During the day, customers should don that favorite holiday sweater and set their thermostat at 68 degrees. As the temperature drops outside, this will help furnaces work less to keep temperatures comfortable in the home. At night, drop it to 55.
  • When you’re away, give your furnace a break: If you spend extended time away from home during the holidays, lower the thermostat to 55 degrees to save as much as 10% on your heating costs. If you have a smart thermostat, set it to lower eco temperatures automatically when you leave.
  • Practice zoned heating and lighting: A simple way to reduce energy usage is zone heating, or heating and lighting occupied rooms only. Customers who have existing baseboard or wall heating should turn down thermostats in unused rooms and close the door.
  • Close drapes at night and open to the sun: Using the natural warmth of the sun can help heat customers’ home and give furnaces a break. Customers should open shades on south-facing windows during the day to let the sun in and close them at night to keep the warmth inside.
  • Run dishwasher and laundry at night: Peak energy demand is in the morning and afternoon/early evening, so running larger appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers in the early morning or late night can help the PUD keep costs low. Also wash laundry in cold water to save nearly 90% of the energy needed to run a normal load.

For customers who would like to purchase energy-efficient light bulbs, smart thermostats and more, visit