As the weather continues to exceed 90 degrees on a daily basis, the demand for electricity continues to grow. Georgia Power has already set a new all-time peak of 15,383 Megawatts for its customer base on July 10. The electric utility anticipates breaking that mark several times this summer as the weather forecasters predict a hot and dry August.
Georgia Power urges its customers to conserve energy, and save money on their monthly electricity bill.
Use major appliances during off-peak hours, when the sun is not up, when demand may be lower.
Check your home for adequate insulation, the most important factor in controlling the amount of energy required to maintain comfortable temperatures.
Insulation is measured in R-value, which is a measure of resistance to heat flow.
So, the higher the R-value, the better the insulation value.
Experts recommend you use an R-value of R-30 in ceiling areas.
Keep outdoor air conditioning units free of leaves, grass and shrubbery for maximum efficiency.
Change or clean your air conditioner filter once every month to maximize the units efficiency. Dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce efficiency.
Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in the summer.
For every degree you set your thermostat below 78 degrees, you use from 3 to 5 percent more electricity.
During the heat of the day, close your draperies, shades or blinds to reduce the extra heat caused by direct sunlight.
Use fans whenever possible. Install ceiling fans in the rooms you use the most.
Check your windows and doors for a tight fit. Apply weather stripping or caulking if needed.
Plan your meals so most heat-producing appliances are used in the early morning or cooler evening hours, since these appliances add heat and humidity to the house. Or, use energy-efficient portable appliances for small cooking operations. Another option is to do more cooking on outdoor grills.
Run the dishwasher and clothes washing machine less often, and wait for a full load before turning them on.
Let the dishes dry without heat.
Use cold water instead of hot water whenever possible.
Set your water heater thermostat to a lower setting - - about 120 degrees.
Close the damper on your fireplace.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
Keep power tools and electric appliances clean and properly maintained.
Repair or replace leaking faucets immediately.
Purchase a higher SEER rated unit when replacing cooling equipment or a heat pump.
The higher the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating), the more efficient the unit.
Experts recommend a 12 SEER.
For more information on how to save energy or to have a free energy audit conducted at your home, call 1-800-524-2421, ext. 250.