NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s electric cooperatives, along with the Tennessee Valley Authority, ask consumers to voluntarily reduce nonessential electricity use through mid-morning Wednesday. Small, voluntary actions will help power providers to continue delivering reliable service during this period of exceptionally cold temperatures across the region. 

“A little effort can go a long way at a time such as this,” says Mike Knotts, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Periods of extreme cold can have a major impact on the demand for energy. Taking voluntary steps now helps us ensure that the power grid remains stable and energy is available to meet the needs of the region.” 

Here are some quick and easy ways to make an impact and save you money:  

  • Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees or a temperature that is both comfortable and safe.  
  • Set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise, which pushes warm air down.  
  • Wear additional layers and bundle up to stay warm. 
  • Turn off everything when you leave a room. 
  • Open window coverings on the sunny side of your home. Close them overnight to retain that heat. 
  • Delay using washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and other large appliances until the warmest part of the day when overall heating demand is lower. 

Other energy efficiency tips to consider for long-term savings: 

  • Weather strip leaky doors and windows. Sealing air leaks saves money on power bills. 
  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees. 
  • Install a programmable thermostat so you can set the temperature to automatically adjust when you are not home. 
  • Replace incandescent lights with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Unplug electronic devices when they’re not in use. 



NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are closely monitoring a major winter storm expected to bring the coldest air in more than a year to the state. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing sometime on Saturday and remain below freezing until at least Thursday. Tennesseans are urged to plan accordingly.

Here are some tips to prepare your home for the cold weather.

Prepare your Home

Inside Your Home

  • Open cabinets doors in your kitchen and bathrooms to allow warm air to circulate around the water pipes.
  • Allow faucets along exterior walls to drip a small amount of water. Running water will prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Ensure that your home has some minimum heat, even if you are away.


  • Cover or close foundation vents.
  • Drain and store water hoses.
  • Protect outdoor faucets and pipes with insulation. If pipe insulation is not available, use newspapers, rags, trash bags or other household items to create a layer of protection.
  • Familiarize yourself with your water shut off valve and have the tools necessary to close it if necessary.
  • Turn off power to your water heater before draining pipes.


Energy Saving Tips

Energy consumption can spike during periods of extremely cold weather. Even with your thermostat set at the same temperature, the greater the difference between inside and outside temperatures, the more your heating system must work to maintain a comfortable living space. Here are some tips to save energy during periods of extreme cold weather.

Set your thermostat to 65 degrees. You can drop it even lower if you plan to be away from home.

Use drapes to control temperatures. Open drapes to allow sunlight to warm your home. Close them in the evening to retain heat.

Seal cracks. Use towels or other materials to seal cracks around windows or under doors to prevent cold air from entering your space.

Be sure air filters are clean. Your heating and cooling system runs more during periods of extreme weather, and that means that your air filters can become dirty much quicker. Dirty air filters make your heating system run less efficiently, and that can have a big impact on comfort and your energy bill.



An investment that can lead to a big return for your family is the same one that will cut your home’s energy use. 

If you want to invest in energy efficiency this year, consider: 

Replacing older windows, especially if they are single-pane models. Old windows are barely better for your home’s comfort—or your energy bills—than windows that stay open all the time. Invest in double-pane windows with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings on the glass, which will keep the cold outdoors and your comfortable, heated air inside where it belongs. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that they typically lose up to 50% less energy than older versions. 

Installing a programmable thermostat. If you’re still trying to remember to turn the heat down every night at bedtime, up again when you wake up, and down again before you leave the house for work in the morning, you’re probably overheating your house. A programmable thermostat will do all the adjusting for you—according to your preferences. 

It’s tempting to ask your handy brother-in-law or next-door neighbor to make a few quick fixes around your house. But when it comes to repairing anything electrical, call a professional. 

Electricity can be dangerous in a home that’s improperly wired, has overloaded circuits or has exposed or defective wiring, receptacles or switches. 

Even if the job seems simple, it’s better to call an experienced, licensed electrician to do it. Most electricians have many hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a more experience electrician and have passed an exam. 

Don’t leave your electrical work up to a handman, your brother-in-law or even yourself. The money you spend to hire a pro will more than pay off in peace of mind and a safe home. 

Saving energy during the winter doesn’t have to mean feeling cold in your own home. Here are five free ways to lower your energy bill while staying comfortable indoors. 

  • Lower the temperature in your home by just a single degree. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save 3% on your heating bill for every degree you set your thermostat back during the winter—as long as you leave it there.  
  • Turn off exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom as soon as the steam or cooking smells are gone. It takes only one hour for those fans to blow all of the warm air out of your house, so use them only as needed. 
  • Close the fireplace damper when you’re not burning a fire. An open damper is a hole in your house that sucks heated air out and draws cold winter air in. 
  • Move furniture and rugs away from heating vents so air can circulate freely around the room. That will make your heating system’s work a lot easier. 
  • Open the curtains on south-facing windows on sunny days so the sun’s warm rays can radiate into your home. Close the curtains at night to help trap that heat indoors.