Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Power Grid Problems

Drudge leads with this screamer: Power Crunch, Heat Wave Deepens: Will the Grids Hold?
Sounds like a headline for the Lois Lane newspaper, The Daily Planet.

The answer, say power companies, according to this MSNBC article is to conserve energy. How, exactly should we do that to help? The article doesn't say, so I did some sleuthing. Here is what I found:

Energy Saving Tips

Conserve Energy and Reduce Your Summer Home Electric Bill Now

  • Turn off unneeded lights. Avoid lighting an empty room and take advantage of natural light whenever possible.
  • Turn up the thermostat. Set your thermostat to 78°F when you are home and 85°F or off when you are away. Save 1 to 3% per degree on your summer electric bill, for each degree the thermostat is set above 72°F.
  • Use appliances wisely. To help prevent electricity outages, use major appliances before noon or after 7 p.m.
  • Use the warm- or cold-water setting to wash clothes. Use cold water to rinse clothes. Save up to 4%.
  • Line-dry your clothes. Save up to 5%.
  • Run full loads if you need to use the clothes dryer. Use the moisture-sensing setting and clean the lint trap after each use. Save 0.5%.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is fully loaded. Turn off the dry cycle and air-dry dishes. Save 1%.
  • Reduce the operating time of your pool filter and automatic pool-cleaning sweep, and operate them only before noon or after 7 p.m. Save 1 to 2% on your summer electric bill for each hour of reduction.
The biggest thing seems to be upping the temp in your house. This is good advice. I've heard that for your A/C's health that the temp set in the house should never be more than 20 degrees different than the outdoor temperature. Yah, right. Here in Houston, we'd have house temperatures around 85 degrees for most of August and September.

Anyway, good luck!

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