Energy Economics

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Already this summer we've seen temperatures break the 90 degree mark, therefore thermostats are being turned down in hopes of a cool breeze.

But as the nation's economy continues to lag, some could be flipping the power switch in hopes of saving money.

"I do keep my air-conditioner off as much as I can. I use a ceiling fan, and when it gets so hot that you can't stay cool with a ceiling fan you have to."

Hilda Goff is just one senior citizen who is on a fixed income and says as the cost of nearly everything goes up, budgeting for the utility bill gets even harder.

"You know you've got x-number amount of money to spend. So far you've had this for groceries and you've had this for medicine and this for utilities. Now, you have to take away from your grocery and your medicine to pay your utilities," said Goff.

But there's good news coming from Jonesboro City Water and Light this year.

They say at least for now, there's no plans of a rate increase even though the costs to produce energy are going up.

But they do have some tips that could save you a few bucks this summer.

"Make sure you have your air-conditioning serviced. Make sure you change your filter reguarly. Check your duct work to make sure you have no leaks and that your insulation is in good shape. Try to keep your thermostat set on about 78," said Engineering Services Director Randy Simpkins.

He says it's better to leave your air on, but at a comfortable level, because it's actually the build up of humidity in your home that makes it stuffy.

And if you should run into a financial hardship, as with many places, CWL is willing to work with you.

"When someone has trouble paying their bills, we have ways to work with them. Our credit department works with them to help them through a hard time. They are still expected to pay their bill, but we can work out some kind of payment plan for them," said Simpkins.

And hopefully working together the economy combined with the summer heat, won't break our pocket books.

For seniors--places like the St. Bernards Senior Life Center where we met up with Goff are open in the daytime and give seniors a place to stay cool until the evening hours.

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