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As temperatures begin to soar and air conditioners begin to run full blast, electricity consumption rises sharply. This increased consumption will result in higher-than-usual electric bills. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) wants to help members keep their bills as low as possible during this period. They have compiled a series of money-saving tips that members can use to keep their costs down.

“Wednesday night and into Thursday, we are looking at times when the demand for electricity will be very high. During these times in particular, we want to do everything we can to help our member-owners keep their power bills low,” said Michael W. Hastings, President and CEO of SVEC. “We are offering conservation ideas so that members can offset the higher electric costs they may incur from heavy air conditioning usage now, and the next few months.”

Recommendations and tips SVEC is suggesting include:

  • Setting air conditioner thermostats higher than usual, if health conditions permit it.
  • Closing curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and retain cooler air inside.
  • Turn off electric appliances and equipment that you do not need or are not using.
  • If you are buying a new appliance, look for one that is ENERGY STAR® qualified.
  • Unplug as many appliances and other items that use electricity as possible, since many of those devices continue to draw power, even if they are turned off.
  • If your clothes dryer has a moisture sensor, be sure to use it to keep from over-drying your clothes.
  • Air dry your dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  • Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees or even 115 degrees.
  • Switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs can save you about 50 percent on electric costs for running your lights.

Following these guidelines to reduce the use of electricity could help hold down the increase you may see in your electric bill due to higher than normal electricity consumption this summer. More tips and ideas are available under the “Our Environment” tab.