Friday, 22 July 2011 15:38
Due to extremely hot temperatures and to help ensure system reliability, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation is activating load control today from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. This only affects members who are signed up for load control (and receive a monthly credit on their bill for participating).
The load control measures today will affect central air conditioning units. They will be cycled off only 15 minutes out every 30 minutes during today’s load control period. Most members should experience minimal inconvenience. Blue Ridge Electric thanks members for their patience during this very important effort to ensure the best reliability during extremely hot temperatures. If members have questions, they may contact their local Blue Ridge Electric office.
Steps Members Can Take
Using energy wisely is always a good idea but especially during times of extreme temperature swings. The following tips are ways members can help control electricity usage this summer:
Conservation tips from Blue Ridge Electric include:
- Setting household thermostats to the highest comfortable level. Closing shades to protect rooms from direct sunlight will help keep homes cooler
- Washing clothes or running dishwashers during the very early morning hours or after 8 p.m. in order to avoid typical peak electricity usage periods
- Minimize the use of lights. Further, install compact fluorescent lamps in the fixtures you use most. Traditional incandescent lamps produce 10% light and 90% heat
- Don't use your oven on hot days. Grilling outdoors is fun and will cut down on inside heat
- Line dry your clothes when possible
- Install shades, blinds, awnings, sun screens or window films on your sunny-side windows
- Reduce water heater temperatures to 120 degrees
- Clean your air conditioner system's filters and coils periodically. Dirty coils and reduced air flow deteriorates air conditioning performance and increases operating time
- Disposable filters should be changed every one to three months and the outdoor coil should be cleaned every year
- Keep cooled air inside the home. Caulk and weather strip around doors and windows, close the fireplace damper and fill holes and gaps where wiring and pipes enter the house
- Use kitchen, bath and other ventilation fans only as long as needed. In just one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of cooled air
- Circulate air with ceiling fans. Fans don't actually cool a room – they just cool you – so be sure to switch the fan off when you're not in the room
- Select energy-efficient equipment when you buy new heating and cooling equipment. Look for the Energy Star label
For more energy tips or to conduct an energy assessment of your home, visit www.BlueRidgeEMC.com.