Cold Weather Guide

When the temperature drops, utility bills can spike.

Learn about Cold Weather and High Bills

Central Florida is known for mild winters, but when the temperatures do drop, remember these important tips to keep your family and your home safe:

  • Keep portable heaters at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, walls, clothing and other flammable items.
  • An electric blanket can help keep you warm on a cold night, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you turn it off and unplug it when it's not in use. Never tuck an electrical blanket in.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home. It can cause fires.
  • Cover any exposed water pipes and leave pool pumps running to prevent freezing.
  • Keep thermostats set at 68 degrees or lower to save energy.
  • At night, close blinds or drapes to help keep cold air out. During the day, open blinds/drapes to let the warm sunshine in. 


  • Make sure your chimney flue is open before using.
  • Use a safety screen for protection from flames and embers.
  • Never leave a fire or smoldering embers unattended.


  • Place candles in sturdy containers or holders and keep them on solid surfaces where they cannot be knocked over.
  • Lit candles should not be left unattended.
  • Keep candles away from trees, draperies, and other flammable items.
  • Keep candles and matches well out of children’s reach.

Smoke Detectors

  • Check batteries regularly to make sure smoke detectors are working.
  • Replace batteries annually.

Protect Water Resources

  • Cover exposed water pipes.
  • As temperatures drop below 32°, allow a trickle of water to flow through exposed pipes to prevent the water inside from freezing.
  • If a bathroom or kitchen faucet shares an exterior wall, also allow a trickle of water to flow through the pipe.
  • Keep pool pumps running so they don’t freeze.

OUC can help you save energy and money

Woman on LaptopBudget Billing
OUC’s Budget Billing helps customers avoid unpredictable bills by evening out payments over the year. This free service lets customers plan their monthly payments and keep their budgets balanced.

How it works:
Your monthly fixed Budget Bill amount is based on the average of your actual utility bills during the last 12 months, including electric and/or water, solid waste, waste water and taxes.* An additional percentage, at the discretion of OUC, will be added to the amount to prevent the deferred balance from growing too large.

To learn more,visit OUC's Budget Billing section.
Login to myOUC and visit the Budget & Billing section to enroll.

*Note: If you do not have 12 months of consumption history at your location, the calculation will be based on the history available for a minimum six-month period. Additional charges, adjustments and financed installments are not part of the Budget Billing plan and appear as separate line items on your bill. These charges are in addition to the Budget Billing amount.

OUC's Online Home Energy AuditOnline & In-Home Energy Audits

Check out OUC's online Home Energy Audit to find out how efficient your home's energy use is and where you can make improvements to lower your utility bills.

To get started, click the button below and enter your account number to receive customized recommendations based on your actual consumption history.

Get Started

OUC Usage DashboardUsage Dashboard

  • Review your usage patterns to conserve and save money
  • Daily and hourly data available
  • Set up email alerts to receive usage notifications

Learn More


You can't do anything about the chilly weather, but you can get incentives for making your home more energy efficient. It's easier than you think, and we are here to help every step of the way.

View Rebates