CU and Nixa Utilities in Springfield are urging customers to conserve energy this week

SPRINGFIELD, MO (KY3) – As you drive down Springfield’s Medical Mile, a medical yard sign at the corner of National and Montclair Streets carries information about the businesses inside the mall and, as many signs do, a temperature check.

The temperature reading on this tag simply says: “DANG” (with the temperature designation “o” next to it).

Not only is this clever, but it’s also a perfect description of the oppressive heat this week that caused Springfield City Utilities to set a new record for electricity use this year.

“On Monday of this week, we hit a new peak for the year of 778 megawatts at about five o’clock,” said Joel Alexander, UCSD director of information and media services. “Our utility system all-time peak was 802 megawatts in 2011.”

“We’re also peaking,” added Nexa Facilities Manager and Assistant City Manager Doug Colvin. “There are a lot of extra things that work besides air conditioning on hot days like refrigerators in the garage and things like that.”

So, with all this high demand, Nixa Utilities and Springfield City Utilities are encouraging customers to conserve electricity.

It is not an emergency but the goal is to prevent this from happening.

So here are some suggestions:

– Use the smart thermostat to adjust the setting at night and when no one is home. Keep your home warmer than usual when you’re away.

– Change or clean the filters in the air handler at least twice during the cooling season. In the outdoor unit, keep the fins and coils free of leaves, dust, grass clippings, and other debris.

– Closing curtains and shades during the day to keep out the sun’s heat – especially on the south and west sides.

Turn ceiling fans counterclockwise to blow cool air down.

— Keep cold air from exiting an exterior door by placing a draft seal to seal gaps at the threshold, adding weather stripping to the inside of the door frames, or attaching a door seal to the bottom of the door.

Cooking with small appliances. Furnaces release heat that makes it difficult to keep your home cool. Try to cook with appliances that use less energy, such as microwaves, crock pots, or air fryers.

Replacing heat-producing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs.

– Check to ensure that the burner damper is securely closed.

“One of the best ways to save money is to use your own thermostat,” Alexander noted. “If you don’t need to cool that house down for 8-9 hours while you’re at work, that makes a difference. Then if you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it up to run about 45 minutes before you get home to be at a temperature that feels comfortable.” With it. Insulation is another thing we look at all the time. Insulation can save you a lot of money all year long hot or cold. And yes, even one person who is green makes a difference. And if more people do it, it makes an even bigger difference.

“Closing the blinds will also make a difference,” Colvin added. “Just blocking sunlight and heating things up. If you have many TVs or computers and appliances at home, some of them consume energy whether they are used or not. Almost everything that plugs in uses a little bit of energy. But the big things are air conditioners And dishwashers and electric dryers and hot water tanks.If you can take a shower faster, you’ll save water and electricity because you’ll have to heat the whole tank again if you don’t.And that’s probably not something a lot of people think about.

In addition to saving money on your electric bill by conserving energy, Colvin explained that every time Nixa Utilities sets a new peak in energy use, it affects the price they have to pay to get electricity from carriers, and sometimes even Transfer this cost to clients.

“We buy some of our energy on the open market,” Colvin said. “On days like today, market power is very expensive. So obviously reducing what you use will bring cost down. For our customers, we have base rates for both residential and commercial users. But we also have an additional energy cost factor, and if all of our prices go up in Wholesale side, we will charge extra amount on (customer’s) invoice to make up the difference.

Energy conservation is not only a monetary consideration, but it could also help avoid a repeat of what happened in the winter of 2021 when the regional power grid of which CU is a part ordered cascading blackouts across its entire system. It was the first time CU ever had to implement blackouts even though it wasn’t their decision.

“That’s something we’re really trying to avoid, and avoiding high demand will really reduce those opportunities,” Alexander said. “But we all respond to the Southwest Energy Park feeding all the way up to the Canadian border and it all depends on how that works together. Things have changed as you have more population growth and economic development in almost every community that is in the Southwest Energy Park. So every “This growth plays into the demand for their systems. At the moment everything looks good but we look at it day by day. We will get through this but we have to do it together.”

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