LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Here at home our electricity consumption is starting to skyrocket as folks try to stay cool this summer, but the good news is there are ways to conserve energy, shrink your bill, and protect Mother Nature all at the same time.
If you've spent any time in the West Texas sun, you know what a relief it can be to step inside your air conditioned home, and you're not alone.
This week the majority of Texas has broken the record of electricity consumption in the state since 2006, and our region is not too far behind. "We set a new peak last year of 5500 megawatts and this year we have not reached that peak as of yet, however we are not far from it. We were about 150 megawatts yesterday from reaching that peak," said Xcel Energy Account Manager Preston Langford.
To prevent electricity blackouts like we've seen in years past, Langford says efficiency is one important key. "This year generation is running and available everything is looking good at this time, we do not anticipate any serious issues, however conservation is always a smart idea, especially during the peak hours of the day," said Langford.
The peak hours of the day are between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. - the time when the most megawatts are used. "That's a good time of the day to try to not operate dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, even multiple large screen TVs, within a home," said Langford.
"We really ask customers to focus on electricity use and be energy efficient - using their energy smarter between 3 and 7," said Chris Simms with Lubbock Power and Light.
Simms says it's easy to make simple changes and see big results. "Using LED or compact fluorescent bulbs, making sure you have programmable thermostats, changing your air filters every three months, checking them once of month, those help," said Simms.
And these practices will not only help keep money in your pocket but protect the environment as well. "During that peak time if we are using more electricity than we are generating or than we're purchasing, we have to buy extra power on the spot. While there is power available, but it's generated by older, less-efficient units, more polluting units and we don't want to do that," said Simms.
Coming up on NewsChannel 11 at 10, we'll tell you about a new program that will monitor your home's thermostat, help you save money and conserve energy.
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