Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division customers set a new all-time peak for electric usage Wednesday, with 3484.1 Megawatts used. Tuesday's usage of 3,442.7 MW was also a record, and new usage records could be set by MLGW customers as the high temperatures continue.
"Our system is performing well and we have had very limited outages during this time. Beginning last fall, we started a process of identifying and addressing areas that experienced frequent or long outages. Since last September, we have completed a thermal imaging scan of our entire system and made improvements where needed. The results of our work are being seen now in its outstanding performance," Collins said.
While MLGW has the sixth lowest combined rates of large metropolitan areas, it is important for customers to think about energy savings at all times. Below are some quick tips to help customers save energy and money:
- Set the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher for the most energy efficient operation. Each degree below this setting adds 6% to your cooling costs.
- Use fans to move the air inside your home. This gives the sensation that it is 5 degrees cooler than the actual temperature.
- Use a programmable thermostat to raise the inside temperature while you are at work or away from home for 4 hours or longer.
- Do not place lamps near your thermostat. The thermostat senses the heat produced from the lamp and causes the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
Use your programmable thermostat to automatically increase the temperature setting at bedtime. Sleep under lightweight bedding and use fans during sleep.
Around the house:
- Shade windows on the sunny side of your home. Keep drapes closed or add room-darkening shades to block out the heat from the sun.
- Save heat producing chores, such as cooking, drying clothes and using an automatic dishwasher for the cooler parts of the day. This will prevent additional heat in your home during the hottest part of the day.
- Plant a trellis near your air conditioning unit. Vines will aid in keeping your unit clean, just be sure they do not interfere with the system's operation. For best results place the trellis between three and five feet from the unit.
- Check your air conditioner's filter every time you receive your utility bill. Look for a dust build-up that can restrict the airflow and place stress on the system. This added stress places wear and tear on the unit, and increases operation costs. Filters can be washable or disposable. This is especially important during the peak months when your system runs longer.
Clean your refrigerator coils. The refrigerator is one of the biggest users of electricity after the air conditioner. By cleaning the coils underneath the refrigerator, it does not have to cycle on and off as much, which saves money.
In the yard:
- Water in the early morning or late evening hours.
- Use timers to water the yard automatically.
Position sprinklers to cover the most amount of the yard. Do not water driveways, the sidewalk or other structures.
MLGW has created a Summer One-Stop page that provides customers valuable energy saving tips as well as an online evaluation of their home's energy usage. The Summer One-Stop can be found on the bottom left corner of MLGW's homepage, www.mlgw.com.