Conserving energy during the hottest period of the day, between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., reduces costs and helps avoid strain on the grid, so we can provide safe, reliable energy in a cost-effective manner.
Avoiding peak energy costs is a good reason to put some chores on hold, at least until power demand dips. Consider running the washer, dryer and dishwasher during non-peak hours.
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system can play a huge part in controlling your energy use year-round.
At 78 degrees, most people are comfortable outside, so why not indoors? Most people aren’t sensitive enough to notice much of a difference in air temperature whether the thermostat is set at 73 or raised to 78. But the closer your air conditioner setting is to the outdoor temperature, the less your unit will run.
Each degree of temperature difference represents a percentage of the total cooling load. That means that when temperatures are in the high 90s or 100s, you could reduce your cooling demand by 10 to 15 percent for each degree above 75 degrees.
Fans offer an economical alternative to air conditioning on mild days and they can pitch in for comfort as temperatures climb. Set ceiling fans to blow air downward (counter clockwise) to get the most value in your cooling zone.
Central air conditioning can use as much as one kwh of electricity for each 12-minute cycle of cooling. A ceiling fan can operate for about 13 hours on the same amount of electricity. Turn off fans when you leave a room, because they cool people, not space.
Appliances on your countertops or stashed in your pantry could keep you cooler and use less energy. Microwaves use about 60 percent as much energy as full-size ovens, and a toaster oven or induction cooker consumes about half as much power and keep kitchens cooler.
Share the space
Getting control of your energy use to reduce your home’s overall demand can be really challenging when you have to consider the entire home, so bring back family time to beat the peak.
LCD televisions generally use 60 percent as much electricity as comparably sized plasma models. One laptop computer uses about 20 percent as much power as a desktop computer and monitor.
A video game console consumes about 200 watts of power. One system pressed into service for spirited intramural competition between family members in one room uses about a third of the power of three players engaged in online games around the house.
Finish the space with energy-efficient LED fixtures for lighting, a couple sets of headphones and a few rechargeable power boosters for the family’s handheld devices. You’ll have a cool and fun place to spend a few hours with the family.
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