Des Moines, Iowa – As temperatures rise, so can energy use. As a result of this week’s hot weather, MidAmerican Energy is issuing a peak alert and encouraging customers to conserve energy today and Friday.
Peak alerts are issued when temperatures hit the mid to high 90s and electricity use is expected to be at or near maximum levels.
MidAmerican Energy has sufficient generating capacity to handle extreme summer temperatures, plus a reserve margin. However, during a peak alert, customers are asked to take simple steps to lower their electricity usage, which can help reduce demand and save money on their electric bills. To follow are five ways people can reduce their energy usage:
1. Wait till sundown: Limit clothes drying, baking and other heat-producing work with appliances to the morning hours or after 7 p.m.
2. Dial up: Setting your thermostat a few degrees higher can make a big difference – reducing electrical usage 3 to 5 percent for each degree. A setting of 78 degrees will keep you comfortable when it is more than 90 degrees outside. If you are not at home during the day, close the house and turn off the air conditioner.
3. Use fans: Fans use less energy than air conditioners and can boost the comfort from an air conditioner, increasing its efficiency. Use ceiling and portable fans to better circulate cool air throughout your home. Reverse the normal direction of ceiling fans to pull cool air up from the floor. Ventilate your attic with a thermostatically controlled fan.
4. Trim foliage outside: Keep your air conditioner unit clear of grass, weeds and shrubs. This will keep your air conditioner unit from working too hard.
5. Block sun: Close drapes, particularly those on west and south windows, to shut out direct sunlight.
MidAmerican Energy also reminds customers to be safe during times of extreme heat and provide support to elderly neighbors, family members and friends who do not have an air conditioner. Customers without an air conditioner can also visit a public place such as a mall or library to find relief.
For more energy-saving tips, visit www.midamericanenergy.com.