Southern Indiana Is Facing Rolling Blackouts, Here’s How You Can Help
Scorching. That’s the type of weather the folks at almanac.com say we can expect this summer.
“On average, we’re predicting summer temperatures to be hotter than normal across most of the country, ranging from the Atlantic Corridor south to Florida, across to the West Coast, and almost everywhere in between.”
In fact our local Southern Indiana utility companies, REMC and Duke Energy, are warning that we may face “rolling blackouts” in the coming days.
REMC recently released a blog post about what has led us to this point where blackouts are a possibility, what the plan is if a blackout is needed, and what we consumers can do to help prevent one. Here is a video summary of the article:
Add to it the very sad but real fact that in 2021 and so far in 2022, electricity rates rose faster than they have since 2008. Summer won’t be just hot, but expensive as well.
REMC offered some great tips on how you can help conserve energy (and save some money on your electric bill as well).
Energy Conservation Tips
Want to help conserve energy and help avoid a local electric blackout? Here are some ways you can help according to REMC:
Turn off computers and monitors when not in use.
Unplug energy consuming appliances and devices when they are not in use.
Close curtains and/or blinds to keep the sun’s heat out of the house.
Avoid using your oven and fire up the grill instead.
We scoured the internet for additional tips from experts on how we can all keep comfortable at home without breaking our budgets.
Tune it up
Every year as we approach late spring, air conditioning contractors ramp up their advertising about the importance of annual maintenance.
They have a point.
“An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service,” explain the experts at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
“Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.”
Researchers at homeadvisor.com suggest that you plan on spending between $75 to $200 for a “simple tune-up.”
Need a recommendation for a local HVAC company who can provide an A/C system tune-up?
Email us at 812Living@gmail.com and ask for a copy of our MVP List that includes our top Southern Indiana service providers.
Sounds crazy but …
Raise the thermostat on your AC system. “The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be,” claims our pro at the DOE.
Experiment with various temperature settings to find one that you can live comfortably with all summer. Seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit while you are at home is what most of the pros recommend and 85 degrees if you’re leaving home and won’t return for at least four hours.
Need some incentive? You can realize a 1% to 3% savings on your energy bill for each degree higher that you set the AC system’s thermostat.
Wind chill in the summer?
Consider purchasing several circulating fans and using your ceiling fans. “These fans create a wind chill effect that will make you more comfortable in your home, even if it’s also cooled by natural ventilation or air conditioning,” say our friends at energy.gov.
Because they tend to amplify the feeling of cooler air, you may be able to bump that AC thermostat a notch or two higher.
In fact, the folks at energy.gov say that “If you use air conditioning to cool your home, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4°F with no reduction in comfort.” That’s money saved, right there.
Turn off the AC and open the doors and windows when the air outside is cooler than that inside the home.
Do some gardening. Shrubs and trees in the landscape not only help raise the value of your home, but, if placed strategically, they will shade the home, cooling it off naturally.
Clean energy company Constellation offers a list of ways to cool your home with strategic landscaping. Surprisingly, they claim that “The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners that operate 20 hours a day” and “Just three trees, properly placed around a house, can reduce energy use by up to 30%.”
Consider installing window film and block-out curtains to keep the summer sun from heating up your home. The curtains are available at many retailers, including bedbathandbeyond.com, target.com and amazon.com.
We can all do our part to help conserve energy. By doing so you can help avoid a local blackout and can even help keep some money in your pocket as well.
Here is a link to the full article from REMC: https://www.clarkremc.coop/extreme-heat
If you have questions or need more information, check out REMC’s website that contains lots of information on energy efficiency and ongoing updates regarding potential blackouts: https://www.clarkremc.coop
Live and Thrive
As always, our goal at the 812 Living Group is to help you LIVE & THRIVE where your home is. We publish a weekly blog about local events, real estate information, and home tips.
If we can help you with anything real estate related, we’d love to connect with you. You can reach us at 812Living@gmail.com