BELLEVUE — Puget Sound Energy is encouraging its more than 1.1 million electric customers to be even more energy conscious as temperatures hover in the 90s.
Systemwide, PSE’s electric infrastructure is performing well, and our generating facilities have the capacity to meet the needs of our customers. While excessive heat puts extra demands on the power grid, our region uses far more energy on cold winter days than we will during this heat wave.
PSE’s one-hour summer record for power usage was set back on July 27, 2009, the last time an “excessive heat warning” was in effect for our area. As temperatures reached into the 100s, 3,430 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity was used between 7-8 p.m. By comparison, PSE customers’ all-time, one-hour high for power usage was 4,906 MWh set on Dec. 15, 2008.
Here are some things customers can do to save energy in the days ahead:
• Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. For those with central air or air conditioning, PSE recommends no lower than 75 degrees. That might seem on the warm side, but customers can save up to 5 percent on their electric bill by taking that simple step.
• Invest in a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the indoor temperature while you’re away.
• Use fans to help circulate the air. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room, make sure to turn off the fan.
• Make sure to close window blinds and curtains to block direct sunlight. In the evening, open windows for cross ventilation.
• Switch out any conventional light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, which produce 70 percent less heat.
• Run appliances – such as dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers – at night. A hot dishwasher sends heat throughout the house; run only on full loads and use the ‘no heat’ option for the drying cycle.
• Consider cooking a later dinner or grilling outside to prevent any additional heat buildup.