After the heatwave and wildfires caused the first rolling blackouts in 20 years, California’s utility companies found themselves in a precarious position and had to ask their customers to adhere to a ‘flex alert’—that is, to conserve energy during the peak usage hours of 3 P.M. to 10 P.M.
HOW CAN I STAY COOL WHILE LOWERING MY ENERGY USE?
Cutting back on our energy used during a heat advisory or heatwave is important, but with temperatures hitting the low 100s daily, how should residents cut back on the energy they’re pulling from the grid?
Use a fan. Turning a ceiling or rotating fan on can make a room feel up to 4 degrees cooler! That’s due to the windchill; effect which removes the heat closest to our skin. Just make sure to turn the fan off when you leave the room—the trick only works when you’re there to feel the air.
Close the blinds. The sun’s rays naturally heat your home, so closing your blinds during the day will help your home stay cooler with no additional energy on your part.
Invest in light cotton or linen sheets. Trying to sleep during a heatwave can be hard, but by changing your bedding out to a lighter and more breathable fabric you won’t sweat through the sheets as you sleep.
Stay hydrated. Drinking water lowers your body’s core temperature, so keep your family hydrated throughout the day to both replenish any water lost through sweating and keep cool.
HOW CAN I REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION DURING A HEATWAVE?
Ther are many ways that you can lower your energy consumption—especially during peak hours. Try some of these tips during a heat advisory to help save energy:
SET YOUR THERMOSTAT AS HIGH AS IS COMFORTABLE FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
The EPA recommends setting your AC 7 to 10 degrees higher in the summer for optimal energy savings. You can save approximately 3-5% more energy for each degree that you raise your thermostat. (Example: If you normally keep your thermostat at 71 degrees while home, raise the temperature to 78 degrees to save more energy).
AVOID USING HIGH-ENERGY APPLIANCES DURING PEAK HOURS.
Peak hours can shift based on the time of year, but turning off the appliances that use the most electricity in your home saves major energy. Your AC typically makes up about 46% of the energy used in your home, with water heating following at around 14%.
INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY STORAGE SOLUTIONS.
Some households don’t have the ability to reduce their energy consumption without dangerous consequences. If you or a loved one rely on special equipment or need cooler temperatures for medical reasons, consider investing in solar energy. Solar panels paired with battery storage systems, such as the Tesla Powerwall, can help you create and store your own energy. If rolling blackouts go into effect you’ll still lose access to the grid, but you won’t lose power to your essential systems.
At HES Solar, we care about keeping you and your family safe and keeping your power on when you need it most. Contact our team at (619) 350-0032 for a free online consultation or COVID-friendly in-person visit today.