Preparing for a power outage
We take electricity for granted - until there is a storm or other disaster that knocks the power out for hours, or even days, and we struggle with the basics of everyday life.
Here are 12 tips compiled by the American Public Power Association to help you prepare for an extended power outage.
Top 10 Energy Efficiency tips for your home
1. Seal leaks and insulate. Use weather-stripping and caulk to seal leaks big and small, and make sure you have enough insulation – this can save you up to 20 percent on your heating costs and boost your home’s comfort level.
2. Install a programmable thermostat. These can easily help you cut your heating and cooling costs by 10 percent.
3. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs or LEDs. They last longer, put out more light and use a fraction of the energy.
4. Look for the Energy Star label when shopping for appliances. Energy Star is the government’s symbol for energy efficiency, awarded to products that are at least 30 percent more efficient than standard models.
5. Wash clothes in cold water. It’s easier on your clothes and will save money – heating the water uses 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes.
6. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Use a power strip to turn off devices that use standby power when plugged in but not in use – this will save the average US household $100 annually.
7. Be an energy-efficient renter. Take ownership without the hassles of ownership, and save money on your electric bill by making energy-efficient choices.
8. Clean or change filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will restrict air flow and make your system work harder to keep you warm, driving up your electric bill.
9. Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and wrap the tank in an insulating “blanket” to keep the water warm for the next use. Or, consider a tankless water heater.
10. Use low-flow faucets or shower heads to help save on water-heating costs. Treatment of water and wastewater is a significant cost for municipalities.
Avoiding Scam Artists
Idaho Falls Power is warning customers to be aware of scam artists.
A recent tactic is for scammers to pose as utility representatives calling by phone to collect payment for an overdue bill. The scammer threatens to shut off electric service unless the victim will pay his or her bill immediately, with a credit card.
If you receive such a call, we advise you to hang up immediately and report the call to the police department at 529-1200, Idaho Falls Power at 612-8439 or the City Utilities office at 612-8280.
No one from Idaho Falls Power or the Utilities office will ever call you demanding immediate payment for an overdue bill. Your power would never be shut off on such short notice, either.
City utility workers responsible for collecting on delinquent accounts do make house calls, but they all carry city identification and wear uniforms identifying them as city employees.
They won’t ask you for account information; they’ll have that information with them. They do collect money from customers, but only after a disconnect notice has been sent and the Utilities worker is on scene to disconnect the service. They will always provide a receipt upon payment.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams.
He aqui algunos consejos para evitar las estafas.