LINCOLN – Lincoln Electric System’s summer electric rates will be in effect for all energy used between June 1 and Sept. 30.
Customers use significantly more electricity in the summer because they run air conditioners to keep cool. To meet the added demand, power plants that are infrequently run during the rest of the year are utilized. These plants are more expensive to maintain. For these reasons, rates are a little higher in the summer. However, there are things customers can do to help manage their consumption.
“Summer is just around the corner, so now is a perfect time to adopt some simple money-saving practices to help stay comfortable and reduce energy use,” said Nelson Stephens, senior energy services specialist for LES.
“Many of the energy-efficiency measures we recommend require little effort and cost little or nothing to implement,” Stephens said. “By completing this checklist, customers can help keep their energy bills down as the outdoor temperatures rise.”
- Customers can reduce cooling costs 3 to 5 percent for each degree they raise the setting on their thermostats. LES recommends a setting of 78 degrees.
- Check the furnace/air conditioner filter. Does it need to be cleaned or replaced? A clean filter can improve air conditioner efficiency and cut cooling costs by 2 percent.
- Customers can cut costs and stay comfortable. Use ceiling fans in occupied rooms and raise the thermostat setting 3 to 4 degrees. Throughout summer, ceiling fans should run counter-clockwise to help people feel cooler.
- Close shades and drapes on the sunny side of the home during the day, especially in the afternoon on the west side of the house where the sun is most intense.
- Clean the clothes dryer’s lint trap before each new load of laundry and save up to $40 per year.
- Avoid using heat-generating appliances during the hottest part of the day. Grill outside for dinner instead of using the oven.
- Replace incandescent lights with LED lighting. If this is not possible, reduce the wattage of light bulbs in lamps and light fixtures. This also reduces the amount of heat the air conditioner has to remove from the house.
- Remove refrigerators and freezers from unconditioned spaces, such as the garage. Evaluate use of the second appliance and determine if it is worth the extra cost to operate. If you are ready to give it up, call 1.866.444.9160 or visit les.com/pickup to schedule a time for free home pickup. LES customers can earn $35 and save up to $100 in annual energy costs.
Customers also can visit les.com to see LES’ rate schedules, learn more about ways to reduce energy usage and costs, and find ways to better predict and understand their monthly utility bills. For ways to save during every season, visit youtube.com/lesvideovault to view a number of short videos. LES customers also can sign up for the utility’s em-Powered™ e-newsletter for additional tips and tools.