As customers across the country eagerly await the arrival of consistently warmer temperatures following a record-breaking winter, homeowners are reminded about how they can help save energy and money, and encourage safety around the home. Here are some warm weather energy-savings tips:

• Set your thermostat on the highest comfortable setting. If you're leaving for the day, turn it up a couple of degrees.
• Change your air filters regularly. A dirty air filter makes a cooling system work harder, which uses more energy.
• The arrival of spring means that summer is around the corner. Make sure your HVAC system is ready to keep you cool by having it checked by a qualified heating and air conditioning contractor.
• Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day to keep the sun's rays from heating your house.

Customers should also remain diligent against scams targeting utility customers across the country.

Call Before You Dig
Spring gardening and home improvement projects can be fun, but can also present safety challenges. One of the most potentially hazardous situations in residential areas is accidental contact with underground electric power lines, natural gas lines, community lines and other utility services. To ensure you're working safely, call an underground line locating service by dialing 811. There is no charge for the service and the call is free.

Storm safety reminders

Warmer weather also brings with it the potential for unpredictable weather. Customers should:

• Check your supply of flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, etc.
• Ensure a portable, battery-operated radio, TV or NOAA weather radio is on hand.
• Determine now what actions to take for family members, friends and neighbors who have special medical needs or who are elderly to ensure they have necessary emergency plans in the event of an extended power outage.

Source: Duke Energy

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