ORLANDO – As temperatures climbed into the high 90s this week, OUC electric demand set a new all-time record in St. Cloud Tuesday, May 28. Air conditioners working to cool homes and offices pushed demand by OUC’s St. Cloud customers to 197 Megawatts (MW), up from 195 MW on Monday, May 27.
While OUC has adequate generating capacity, there is concern customer bills will reflect the extra power consumption – so customers are encouraged to take steps to conserve.
To help keep electric bills down when the temperatures rise, OUC recommends the following:
- Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Each degree you lower the thermostat below 78 degrees can cost you six to eight percent more on your cooling costs.
- Keep your central A/C unit set to auto, so the fan isn’t constantly turning.
- Use ceiling fans to make rooms feel cooler. Make sure they’re turning counter clockwise, but don’t forget to turn them off when the room is empty.
- Replace your air filter regularly.
- Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats can help save up to 10 percent on cooling costs.
- Use shades, drapes and blinds to keep the sun and heat out, especially on windows that face east or west.
- Close windows and outside doors while the air conditioner is on.
- Caulk and place weather strips around leaky windows and doors.
- Wash only full loads in dishwashers and clothing washers. Using hot water can add about 90 percent to the cost of each load, so consider using cold water.
- Clear your dryer vent regularly to prevent fires and improve efficiency.
- Check your water heater temperature to ensure it is set to no more than 125 degrees, otherwise you’re wasting energy.
OUC also offers options for those looking to stay as energy efficient as possible. Anyone – even if you’re not an OUC customer – can visit ouc.com/waystosave for a free online home energy audit. There, you can find out how efficient your home’s energy is and where you can make improvements for lower bills.
For more tools to help save energy and money, visit ouc.com/waystosave.
About OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to about 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. Visit www.ouc.com to learn more about our commitment to reliability, affordability and sustainability.