TRIAD, NC -- Schemers are using the summer heat to try to take advantage of people.

During the middle of the summer, many people are running their air conditioners to beat the heat.

But these cooler homes translate in to higher electricity bills.

Kevin Hinterberger with the Better Business Bureau says schemers use this time as an opportunity to tempt customers with the promise of lower energy bills.

"Anybody could fall prey to this kind of scam. If energy bills are going up and if energy bills are a concern of yours, you could fall victim to one of these kinds of scams," said Hinterberger.

The BBB issued a warning about schemers claiming to represent a local energy company or government agency -- offering a program to help homeowners lower their energy bills.

The con-artists want people to enroll in a non-existent program to sign up for tax credits which requires you to share personal information.

Hinterberger says people should be aware of the circumstances and not fall victim to this scheme.

“If people come to your house or if you receive a phone call and they are using high pressure sales tactics to try to get you to do something that you normally wouldn't do, disengage, hang up the phone, make an independent verification,” said Hinterberger.

There are easier ways to save money legitimately.

Jimmy Flythe with Duke Energy says there are five things people can do to lower their electric bills while still keeping the house cool.

First, change your air filters every other month.

“The more dirt that is on that filter, the harder it has to work to cool your house,” said Flythe.

Second, remember to turn off your ceiling fan when you leave a room.

“You only want to run the ceiling fan while someone is in the room because it takes energy to turn the fan and it's only going to benefit you when somebody's in there to feel that air blowing over the top of them,” said Flythe.

Third, keep your blinds closed.

“That will keep sun light from coming in and heating up your room,” said Flythe. “Your air-conditioning won't have to work as hard to keep your room and the house cool.”

Fourth, check your air conditioning unit outside your home and make sure the area is clear so the unit can do its job.

“If you have shrubbery planted around it, make sure to prune it and give it plenty of space there so that the air can circulate around the unit,” said Flythe.

Finally, check your thermostat frequently and try not to keep it set too low.

“The air-conditioning is going to be the biggest energy user in the house,” said Flythe. “For every 3° you set it higher, you will save almost 10% on your cooling bill.”

Duke Energy offers several programs for customers to help them save money on their electricity bills.

For more information, click here.

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