Heatwave causes record breaking energy usage
EPB has reached their highest levels of electrical use in nearly three years. EPB officials report that the peak demand is likely to surpass the current peak in the next few days. As the hot summer temperatures continue, Jason Elders is an Energy Pro for EPB. He said there are some simple steps customers can take to stay cool while curbing wasteful energy.
“One thing we recommend is set the thermostat on a schedule. A lot of times you can do that with an automatic thermostat. Also, if you’re not there during the day you can raise the temperature up. A lot of times the reason is a lack of the preventative maintenance,” Elders said. “If you have a qualified HVAC contractor to come a couple of times a year and clean the unit and do a tune up on it and also keep the filters changed on a regular basis.”
Although the EPB coverage area is experiencing a high heat wave and electric rates were the highest June peak since 2016, Scottie Summerlin with EPB says that it has no relation to their recent transformer explosion downtown.
“I don’t think it’s related to the heatwave at all. I think that sometimes, equipment fails and that’s why you have to do preventative maintenece on it, and we do that in our downtown area and our entire service area all of the time. But, no equipment is full-proof. It’s amazing that in a little over twelve hours, they were able to restore power to everyone who lost it with the exception of the Ben & Jerry’s building, and restore fiber internet services to everybody except for ten customers and those customers should be back online now,” Summerlin said.
Other measures that are quick, easy to do include: Keep blinds and curtains closed on the sunny side of your home, turn off nonessential lights, unplug appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment when not in use, wait until early morning or late at night to use major appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and washing machines, use ceiling and floor fans to keep air moving in your home, and set your thermostat to 72 degrees then increase by 1 degree at a time to find the highest setting that feels comfortable. Lowering your thermostat by even a single degree can save 3% of energy bills.
The EPB Energy Pros can help all customers save energy and money with a free EPB Home Energy Checkup. They can analyze customers’ homes and provide personalized recommendations about the most cost-effective ways to make their homes healthier and more energy efficient. This is available to both homeowners and renters in the EPB service territory. The EPB Energy Pros can also do a free energy bill analysis to help customers learn how to track costs, levelize their bills and take advantage of available rebates. They can recommend TVA-approved contractors, and they’ll even inspect the contractor’s work when the project is complete to ensure optimal customer benefit. Schedule an in-person visit at EPB.com/energypros or call 423-648-1372.