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MLGW offers tips to help customers use energy wisely during week of high heat
August 6, 2007
With temperatures expecting to stay in the upper 90s this week, MLGW wants to offer customers tips on using energy wisely and controlling energy costs. The amount of your utility bill is directly related to the amount of energy you use. By using energy wisely during this period of intensive heat, you will keep your bills as low as possible. Here are some tips to help you stay cool:

  • 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 a programmable thermostat to routinely raise the inside temperature while you are at work or routinely away from home for 4 hours or longer. Pre-set the thermostat to adjust back to your normal comfort range 1/2 hour before getting home. This automatic adjustment reduces the cumulative operation of the air conditioner while you are away, and eliminates any discomfort when you arrive home.
  • 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 fans to move the air inside your home. This gives the sensation that it is 5 degrees cooler than the actual temperature.
  • 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.
  • Use your programmable thermostat to automatically increase the temperature setting at bedtime. Sleep under lightweight bedding and use fans during sleep. You will sleep comfortably with less cooling.
  • The outside portion of a central air conditioner is the condensing unit. Keep it clear from dried mud, debris and grass clippings, because it needs to breathe.
  • 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. Most hardware stores carry inexpensive, fiberglass filters that are disposable.
  • Do not set your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.

    Customers wanting additional ways to save energy can visit Home e-Valuation at MLGW’s Web site. The customized survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and will offer personalized tips for saving energy and money in your house. The survey can be found under the blue consumer/residential link at www.mlgw.com.

    MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County. A 2007 survey of large metropolitan areas showed that MLGW has the sixth lowest combined rates in the nation.