Reducing energy usage when the heat is on

Eric BenSalah 2019-sizedAs the hottest temperatures of the season, so far, kick in, your air conditioner is getting a tough workout. With sweltering conditions outside, we’re using a lot of electricity inside to try and stay cool. The heat is tough on OPPD’s system, too.

But OPPD Energy Consultant Eric BenSalah has some simple steps you can take to help you reduce your energy usage.

Blinds/curtains

“Close your blinds or curtains to any direct sunlight,” BenSalah said. That helps prevent the sun’s rays from heating your home, and it helps block drafty windows to keep the hot air out and cold air in.

Ceiling fans

“Also, make sure ceiling fans are spinning counter-clockwise,” BenSalah said.

“Use ceiling fans or more directional fans, like box fans, to help cool your body temperature through the wind-chill effect.”

And, only run fans when you are in the room. There’s no cooling or energy benefit to leaving fans on when you’re gone.

 Appliances

BenSalah encourages OPPD customers to try to limit the use of heat generating appliances, such as the stove, oven and dishwasher.

“Or, at least try to wait to use them until the cooler portions of the day or evening.”

 Registers and vents

BenSalah has another tip for those with registers or air vents that are in the floor or close to the ground.

“Consider using a fan that can angle up to better circulate the colder air as it comes into the room.”

When you’re away from home

BenSalah does not recommend turning off your air conditioner when you leave for the day, but rather raising it by two to four degrees.

“Every degree can save or cost you up to 5% of energy, depending on your system.”

Once you’re home, he said, lower the temperature back to a more comfortable level.

Worried about your utility bill?

Having a level payment plan helps OPPD customers avoid the highs and lows of monthly utility bills, which can vary greatly depending upon weather and electric usage. The plan averages out a customer’s energy use over a year’s time, keeping the bill consistent from month to month.

Customers who would like to learn more about this or other payment options should call 402-536-4131 within the Omaha calling area, or 1-877-536-4131, toll-free outside of Omaha.

OPPD’s Customer Care representatives are happy to talk with customers about their bill or payment concerns, to help them come up with workable solutions. Financial assistance may also be available to those who qualify.

Jodi Baker

About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. She's married with two children (a boy and a girl), who keep her and her husband, Dave, hopping. Busy and blessed.