San Antonio residents saved enough energy to power 42,200 homes for an hour on Sept. 1 Peak Energy Alert Day

Tips to help reduce demand on the energy grid (and save money!)

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CPS Energy asked residents in the San Antonio area to reduce their electricity demand for the afternoon of Sept. 1 in an effort to reduce the likelihood of rolling brown- or black-outs. Residents responded by saving more than 200 megawatts, the utility said Thursday,

With temperatures nearly hitting 100 on Wednesday and heat indexes making it feel like 100-degrees-plus, CPS Energy issued a Peak Energy Alert Day because demand for energy was expected to be high.

High energy demand days happen a few days each summer, and sometimes during the winter, when demand for electricity is highest. Demand is typically at its highest in the summer between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on very hot days.

“Our community saved 211megawatts (MW) of power today. We saved enough to power 42,200 homes for an hour on a hot summer day,” a spokesperson said.

How to conserve on high energy demand days:

  1. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Bump it up a little more if you are leaving home.
  2. Remember the “20-degree rule” that air conditioners are designed to cool your home up to about 15-20 degrees lower than the outside temperature. If the difference between the outside temperature and your thermostat setting is more than 20 degrees, then your air conditioner will run nonstop!
  3. Maintain your air conditioning unit with seasonal tune ups and change filters monthly during the hot summer months.
  4. Use fans & point them in your direction to feel 4-6 degrees cooler. Set ceiling fans to run counter-clockwise in the summer.
  5. Lower window shades and blinds when they are in direct sunlight.
  6. Avoid using large appliances like ovens and clothes dryers. Cook outdoors on a grill & line dry your clothes when you can.
  7. Turn off lights and unplug televisions, game consoles, and other equipment when you leave a room. Use power strips to make this quick and easy. All electrical devices use some power when connected to an outlet and can generate heat when they are turned off, but still plugged in.
  8. Limit your use of the vent fans above your stove and in your bathroom because they pull in hot outside air, making your AC work harder.
  9. Refrigerator and freezer tips: Keep your fridge & freezer full because a full fridge uses less energy. Set refrigerator temperature between 37° & 40° degrees Fahrenheit. Set the freezer between 0° & 5°. Make sure the seal around the door is airtight & keep the refrigerator coils clean from lint and dust. Don’t keep a refrigerator in a non-air-conditioned space because it will have to work harder to keep cool.
  10. Replace traditional incandescent light bulbs that use a lot of energy to produce light, generate heat, and are no longer manufactured. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), halogen incandescent bulbs, and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) may initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs but they save you money during their lifetime because they use less energy. CFLs and LEDs are great for use in outdoor lighting fixtures that are sometimes left on for a long time and may be exposed to weather.

Conserve energy every day, and especially on high energy demand days.

Read more energy-saving tips on CPS Energy’s website.