Energy Savings

Are unattended heaters running up your bill?

Set a timer or reminders to turn off heat when not in use

Last May, PEC Senior Energy Advisor Chris Denison made a house call for a member whose electric bill was far higher than it needed to be.

“Her latest bill had been about $100 more than normal, and she couldn’t figure out why,” Denison said. “Then we opened the door to her well house, and were hit with a blast of 110-degree heat.”

Space heater in greenhouse

During the winter, the member had set up a space heater inside her well house to keep her pipes from freezing. But then she had forgotten about it, and the heater continued to operate and draw power, even as outdoor temperatures climbed into the 80s.

“Whenever you’re using heaters to warm less-occupied spaces like greenhouses, garages, or kennels, be sure to remember to turn the heater off when you’re not using it,” Denison said. “It’s a safety issue, and also has a big impact on your bill.”

Denison’s quick tips for supplemental heaters:

  • Check the weather. If outdoor daytime temperatures will reach the 50s or 60s, you’re out of freeze danger and don’t need to run heaters for wells or pipes.
  • Set a timer to remind you to turn off heaters, or make a habit of doing so before you leave for the day.
  • Become familiar with the true temperature produced by your heater to avoid running your heater too high. For rooms that don’t have a thermostat display, use a wall-mounted thermometer to ascertain the temperature.

Find more ways to save from our energy service advisors.