Follow these tips to keep winter energy costs in check
Wiregrass Electric Cooperative strives to provide reliable service. To do so, we must install and maintain the infrastructure needed to deliver electricity at all times.
We determine the sizes of poles, wires and transformers the system needs based on “peak demand,” the time when our members require the most electricity. These times are 6 to 9 a.m. in the winter and 3 to 6 p.m. in the summer.
Peak demand also determines the price at which we purchase power from our wholesale energy provider, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. The lower our collective demand is, the lower our infrastructure costs and power rates can be. This in turn helps us keep your power rates low!
To help the cooperative lower demand, follow these suggestions:
- Use a programmable thermostat to smartly control heaters and air conditioners. For instance, gradually warming your heater between 3 and 5 a.m. is better than turning the heater on full force at 6 a.m.
- Avoid showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry during peak times. Water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers can all use significant amounts of energy.
- Charge electric vehicles before or after peaks. Some EV chargers use more energy than water heaters, which are the second-largest energy consumer in most homes.
- Lower the heater or raise your air conditioner’s thermostat a couple of degrees. It is recommended that heaters operate at 68 degrees and air conditioners at 78 degrees.
- Ensure windows and doors are sealed properly so that heaters and air conditioners operate in an efficient environment.
- Use advanced power strips to reduce “vampire loads.” A vampire load is the amount of power electronics like TVs, stereos and computers use even when they are turned off.
- Install energy-efficient lighting throughout your home. LED lights can help lower your consumption and reduce costs.
- Encourage your family to be energy-savvy by turning off lights as they exit a room and using ceiling fans first before switching on the AC.
- Make sure your home is set up to be energy efficient with items like LED lights and energy-efficient appliances.