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Tips to Reduce Energy Usage & Costs During Heat Events

Tips to Reduce Energy Usage & Costs During Heat Events

Beat the heat, stay safe and healthy, and protect the environment

With temperatures soaring this time of the year, both energy and water consumption is expected to rise from increased use of air conditioning and other summertime related activities. The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) wants to help educate residents on ways to reduce their energy consumption and costs, minimize their environmental footprint and, most important – stay cool and healthy.

With a little planning and following the simple tips below, customers can beat the heat, reduce their energy usage, and protect the environment.

  • Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat temperature just cool enough to keep you comfortable, and then bump it up one degree! Each degree set above 75⁰F could save 10-15% in energy used.
  • Use fans instead of/or to supplement A/C. Fans use 1/60th the energy of an air conditioner. While they do not cool the air, they pull body heat away from the skin and can be used alongside air conditioning – letting you raise your thermostat a few degrees while remaining comfortable. Ceiling fans also make rooms feel four degrees cooler!
  • Use electricity during off-peak hours. The time of day you use electricity is also important. Shifting energy use to “off peak” hours – early morning or late at night – can help reduce load on the grid and lower energy costs.
  • Block the sun with shades and drapes. When fully pulled down and closed over a window with significant sun exposure, blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45%.
    • Relax in rooms that do not receive direct sunlight or stay on the lowest floor of your home.
  • Use only lights and appliances you really need. Even a basic light bulb can add heat to a room.
    • Clothes dryers and dishwashers produce lots of heat – use them in the early morning or late evening, not in the heat of the day and wash only full loads of clothes. Better yet, hang clothes to dry instead of using a clothes dryer.
    • Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional range or oven.
    • Avoid frequently opening your refrigerator.
  • Close doors & vents. Closing doors and A/C vents in rooms that are not in use can help make your cooling system more efficient, and cuts back on cooling rooms and closets no one is in.

BPU also offers customers an innovative, easy-to-use digital Energy Engage utility portal to track their personal water and energy usage, by both amounts and dollars – helping them plan better, save money, and protect the environment. Features include:

  • Tracking energy and water usage by day, billing cycle, or year, in both amounts and dollars.
  • Monitoring usage by hour to identify peak usage times.
  • Comparing usage to previous months.
  • Setting an alarm to notify customers when they near a preset budgeted amount.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County also has “Cooling Centers” set up in and around the county to assist residents in need. For more information on these locations, hours, etc., go to ughealth.info/cool For more information, go to www.BPU.com

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 65,000 electric and 53,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.BPU.com.



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