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Top 5 ways to limit utility bills during a heatwave

PEPCO says even small moves with your thermostat can achieve significant savings during extreme weather events.

WASHINGTON — Climate control in your house or apartment is the number one thing that eats energy, according to DirectEnergy.com.

The national marketer of energy services reports that 46% of the energy consumption in a home is from cooling and heating.

Meanwhile, PEPCO says even small moves with your thermostat can achieve significant savings during extreme weather events.

“For every one degree that you raise your thermostat, it equals a 2% decrease in your bill," said Sean Matthews, a PEPCO spokesman.

PEPCO recommends the following top five ways to save:

  • Reduce your A/C use, even just a few degrees makes a difference
  • Fire up the outdoor grill, instead of cooking inside
  • Save high energy chores, like laundry and dishes, for later
  • Turn off lights and electronics, if you're not using them
  • Close the shades, or blinds, to help keep your house cool

Consumer experts say during heat waves utility customers should try to cool a residence at night when the air conditioning does not have to work as hard to achieve your target temperature. During the following day, customers should try to preserve as much of that cold air as possible by keeping windows and doors tightly sealed and avoiding activities that create heat in the home.

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However, Matthews cautioned that does not mean turning off the AC or letting daytime conditions in the home get so warm that the machinery will have to work overtime to catch up which can waste energy.

PEPCO offers customers who conserve on designated Peak Savings Days rewards for participating.

The utility also offers customers a program called Energy Wise Rewards which rewards customers who install technology that automatically cycles an individual's air conditioning during peak power use periods to reduce demand on the system with little or no effect on home comfort.

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The company encourages customers in the District to participate in #JulyTakeActionDC month on social media and recommends that all DC residents look into www.ReduceEnergyUseDC.com for tips on how to save energy and to take a conservation pledge if they haven’t yet to save more energy and for a chance to win an energy bill credit.

Consumer experts say most utilities offer similar programs and they encourage customers to enroll through their provider's website.

PEPCO reports the peak load on its system happed on June 30 when the utility delivered 5712 megawatts to its 894,000 customers.

The 2020 peak load was 5847 megawatts.

The all-time record was delivered in 2011 when 6999 megawatts were consumed on a scorching July day.

Typical daily peaks for the summer have been reduced over the past 10 years because of the positive effects of energy efficiency efforts and the arrival of more efficient appliances and devices, according to PEPCO.

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