|This is Lineman Appreciation Month|
Last week KFOX14 ran this story: Residents frustrated after El Paso Electric asks them to cut back after recent outages. Reporter, Kaylee Heck, quoted resident, Elizabeth Lopez. "'The bills keep going up higher each month because of the heat, but now we don't have the service we're paying for,'" Lopez said.
They don't have the service they are paying for? No. They paid for the service that they got. EPEC doesn't charge for the future delivery of electrons. It charges for the electrons that you demanded and got.
They gave the residents of this eastside El Paso community a list of ways to conserve electricity while they replace a transformer. I know how frustrating and aggravating it is to be without power or water or gas. I did it for a week while I was living in Washington State. The cats and I survived. In this case, no one is going without power as the work is done. Asking for energy conservation buys the insurance that no one will go without power.
Here's my main point. The list of conservation tips that they gave the neighborhood is exactly the same list of conservation tips that they recommend for everyone else:
- Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher - every degree of extra cooling will increase energy usage six to eight percent.
- Use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate the cool air.
- Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun. Shade south and west windows with plants or trees to block the heat during the summer.
- Close interior blinds, drapes, or shades to block the sun and heat during warm weather.
- Consider using a clothesline instead of a clothes dryer.
- Outside air conditioning units, or condensers, should be shaded.
- On warm days raise your thermostat to 80°F or higher if leaving for more than four hours.
- Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature than normal will not cool your home faster.
- Try to save heat and humidity-generating activities (cooking, laundering, and dishwashing) for early morning or evening hours.
I use ceiling and portable fans. I have shade trees. I close the interior shades. I use a clothesline (except in inclement weather). I do not run applicances like the dishwasher or clothes washer while running my AC. Etc.
I'm not bragging but concurring. I know that EPEC is especially unpopular now because they are asking for a rate hike. Nevertheless, they encourage energy conservation and, Ms. Lopez, they bill you for the amount of electricity that you use. The tips are good for cutting down that amount and making sure that everyone has uninterrupted service.