Tips to keep Tahoe heat bills under control this winter |

Tips to keep Tahoe heat bills under control this winter

Special to the Bonanza

Winter starts officially on Dec. 21, but cold temperatures have already arrived and furnaces are working overtime to keep northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe homes warm and comfortable.

There are a few simple steps homeowners can take to keep heating bills under control this winter, said Chad Piekarz, an energy efficiency expert with NV Energy.

He said the easiest way to reduce heating costs is set your thermostat a little lower, at 68 degrees when you’re home and down to 58 overnight or when you’re away from home.

“A single degree above 68 degrees can increase your energy bill by as much as 2 percent,” Piekarz said.

The type of thermostat you have makes a difference as well. If you have an older manually operated thermostat, replace it with a digital, programmable thermostat that can be programmed to automatically adjust the settings so you won’t need to remember to do it or experience unnecessary run times, Piekarz said.

NV Energy recommends changing furnace filters monthly during the heating season and getting your furnace professionally tuned up every one or two years to keep it running efficiently.

Piekarz also cautions customers about the use of electric space heaters.

“The use of space heaters constitutes more than 80 percent of high bill issues from customers during the winter,” he said.

This article was provided by NV Energy, which provides electricity service to homes in Incline Village and Crystal Bay. Visit for more information.

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