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Delmarva Power Urges Customers to A.C.T. Now – Thousands May Qualify for Energy Assistance

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A void Getting Behind - Call for Help – Take Control

SALISBURY , Md. – Delmarva Power realizes that the recession and housing crisis have impacted the incomes of its customers. “We realize there could be many of our customers who are currently having difficulty managing their energy bills,” said Gary Stockbridge, President, Delmarva Power. “We are advising our customers who may not have qualified for energy assistance in the past to look into whether or not they may now be eligible for help due to a change in their financial status.” That’s why Delmarva Power urges customers to A.C.T. now.

1. Avoid Getting Behind

If customers are experiencing difficulty paying energy bills but are current, they should consider enrolling in the Budget Billing Program, an alternative payment plan that allows customers to pay electric bills in equal monthly installments even though actual electric usage fluctuates from month to month.

2. Call for Help

If customers are behind in paying their energy bills, contact Delmarva Power immediately to work out a payment plan. Customer representatives also have information about energy assistance programs in Delaware and Maryland. Customers who may not have qualified for help in the past may now be eligible for energy assistance due to a change in financial circumstances such as loss of employment.

3. Take Control

Heat pumps work harder to keep homes warm when the outdoor temperature falls. When the outdoor temperature approaches 32 degrees, the back-up or supplementary heat is automatically activated. Some thermostats have indicator lights so customers will know that the system is using the supplementary heat or “Aux” (auxiliary heat). A programmable heat pump thermostat helps customers save money by allowing customers to program the thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in their homes at various times.

  •  In addition, customers can activate the supplementary heat by manually raising the thermostat temperature as little as two degrees. Regardless of whether the supplementary heat is activated automatically or manually, if the thermostat has the supplementary heat light available, it will come on to indicate the back-up heat is in operation.
  • 4 Turn down thermostats from 72 degrees to 68 degrees for eight hours a day and save as much as 10 percent on energy costs. Every degree the thermostat is lowered could save about 3 percent on heating bills.
  • Winterize windows and doors with weather stripping (for all moveable joints) and caulk (for non-moving parts). Also, install a window kit to the inside of windows to help keep out cold air and keep in warm air.
  • 4 Change heater filters at least monthly; excessive buildup of dust on the filter increases power drawn by the air handler fan and reduces airflow through the system, reducing performance. Clean the outside heat exchanger/fan unit periodically to remove dirt, dust, leaves or insect nests, as dirty units reduce performance and increase energy usage.
  •  Inspect ductwork for any air leakage. If you feel air leaking at joints, use silver metal duct tape to seal them. Customers can save up to 10 percent on heating costs by eliminating those leaks.

Editor’s note: You can get more energy-saving information at Delmarva Power’s Web site, www.delmarva.com.

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Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe and reliable energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware and Maryland and over 121,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.