PUD offers tips to conserve energy, protect pipes in cold weather

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With the National Weather Service forecasting extremely cold temperatures across the Puget Sound region this weekend, the Snohomish PUD is encouraging customers to prepare now to conserve energy to keep bills low and protect water pipes from freezing.

Temperatures are forecast to fall into the teens beginning Thursday night and remaining cold through Sunday, according to a news release.

The greater the difference between the outside temperature and thermostat setting, the more energy customers will use to heat their home or business. The PUD recommends setting thermostats at 68 degrees when customers are home and awake and 55 degrees when away or asleep to conserve energy and save money on their bill.

Here are other tips to conserve energy during extremely cold weather:

• Practice zone heating and lighting by heating only occupied rooms and turning off lights in rooms not being used.
• Open shades on south-facing windows during the day to use the natural warmth of the sun to warm rooms and give furnaces and heat pumps a break.
• Seal up drafty doors with door sweeps to prevent cold air from entering a home or business.

As temperatures plunge below freezing, frozen pipes can be an expensive inconvenience. The PUD recommends taking the following precautions to prevent frozen water pipes:

• Never leave a garden hose attached to the faucet in freezing weather. Disconnect and drain hoses.
• Insulate backflow devices and outside faucets with newspaper, rags or other insulating material. Cover with plastic and secure with string or wire.
• Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
• Locate the main shutoff valve to your home and make sure to show household members how to turn off water to the house in case of an emergency.

The upcoming forecast is also warning of possible snow showers. Significant snow accumulation can result in power outages, so PUD customers should be prepared in case they lose power.

The PUD encourages customers to have a supply of non-perishable food and water available. Also keep cell phones charged and bookmark the PUD’s Outage Map at snopud.com/outagemap. Visit snopud.com/winterprep for an emergency preparedness kit list.

Customers who lose power should report their outage to 425-783-1001 or on the PUD’s Outage Map, where they can now sign up for outage text alerts.

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