Staying warm in dangerously cold temperatures - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Staying warm in dangerously cold temperatures

(KFVS) -

Dangerously cold temperatures are upon us in the Heartland, that means staying warm is a must.

"First we want people to know we have put every precaution in place to make sure that their power stays on an our hubs can handle the increased use should we get a freeze this weekend," said Sean VanSlyke of SEMO Electric CO-OP in Sikeston.

Bob Dixon of Ameren Missouri also said they are prepared. He says they've made improvements over the past few years, so that their hub stations are set up to take over any extreme use of power.

Dixon says at this point, he's confident your power will keep running in case of ice or freezing rain this weekend.

As for energy saving tips, he says something as simple as unplugging your unused cell phone chargers could save you money in the long run. He says insulating doors and windows also can save you a lot of extra cash.

VanSlyke says crews will be out preparing lines in case of ice.

He also says that some people do not realize their space heaters actually are costing more than using electricity would. "It could cost in some cases hundreds of dollars to run space heaters," he said

Meanwhile, Dixon explained Ameren now has a new bill system launch a few months ago that breaks down your energy usage. He says if you call their customer service line they can explain to you ways to save money for your specific location.

You probably noticed, your bill has a new look. There's actually valuable information contained in those pages they could save you money over the course of the year.

Customers like Wes Langston noticed the bill and called Ameren after seeing a huge increase in the bill of his new photography studio building he recently began renting on Broadway in Cape Girardeau.

"My bill jumped by more than one hundred dollars over the course of the month likely just because I had turned up the heat when it got colder, and at that time I actually thought I was doing things to save money," he said. He decided to take the time to move his thermostat to his office location in the smaller part of the spacious building so that he only heated the areas he needed to.

"Most of the time I'm working on editing photos in my office area and if I just turn up the heat there when I need to and shut the door I'm hoping this month it will save me money," said Lanston. "I also started making sure I was turning off unused appliances and equipment because they told me those things will draw from your energy usage too," he said.

"There's a lot of easy things you can do," he said. "For instance, just by reading the information on the new ceiling fan I bought I realize that by changing the direction it turns in the winter and summer months I can help it stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. I hope to see you lower bill this month."

SEMO Electric also has an app for your phone to track usage. They also offer kilowatt information breaking down your bill and explaining how much Energy per hour each appliance uses.

There's also devices available so that you can keep track.

You can learn more from resources from Missouri's Electric Cooperatives:

The Alliance to Save Energy -

The Department of Energy -

Get the Energy Saving Tips Booklet free by calling 1-877-377-3463 or visiting

Energy saving guides are also available at

For more tips:

You will learn information about how you can save money by turning off appliances, sealing windows, doors, and attics and using heavy-duty, clear sheets of plastic on the inside of windows can reduce the amount of cold entering your home.

For Ameren customers, check out the sites:

Energy Efficiency – Act On Energy

Dollar More & Energy Assistance

Budget Billing (allows customers to even out their monthly payments)

New Bill Format (information and options for customers to better manage their energy usage)

Customer Contact Center: 1-800-552-7583

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