Beat the heat’s effects on your electric bill

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36540079 - thermometer on the windowsill on the background of the summer heat

It has been a summer of record-breaking heat and humidity. The hum of your home’s air conditioner may seem like it’s been going nonstop.

High temperatures – and stifling humidity – can also mean higher electricity consumption.

Summer is traditionally OPPD’s peak demand season, with warm and often humid conditions a big contributor. 2018, according to the National Weather Service, saw the hottest May on record. And June was not much cooler. Unfortunately, all of this can result in higher electric bills for OPPD customers.

With a month or so of summer remaining, there are some things customers can do to lower their energy usage and hopefully keep their bills manageable:

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. 78 degrees is often cited as an optimal temperature. When setting your thermostat, a one-degree increase can conservatively save 3 to 5 percent on energy.
  • Keep window shades and blinds closed to block direct sunlight.
  • Schedule a check-up of your cooling equipment with a licensed contractor, if you have not done so this year.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Use ceiling fans to enable you to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees, with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off fans when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind-chill effect.
  • Delay such tasks as dishwashing or laundry until after 8 p.m., and restrict the use of heat-producing appliances such as ovens until later in the day.
  • Unplug appliances and shut off lights that are not in use.
  • Shower early in the morning or later in the evening.

OPPD offers these and many more seasonal energy-efficiency tips online.

Laura King-Homan

About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, most of that time spent at the Omaha World-Herald.

One thought on “Beat the heat’s effects on your electric bill”

  1. I have a pretty low electric bill already. I use a energy efficient bulbs, don’t turn on lights unless I absolutely need them and don’t leave lights on in rooms I’m not in. I will now try unplugging items next month and see what difference it makes in my bill. Thanks for the tips.

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