Tips to keep energy bills low amid heat

July 18, 2013

From “Tips to keep energy bills low amid heat” — GREEN BAY – At Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, when temperatures go up monitoring energy use is a minute by minute activity.

“We don’t want to set a new usage level,” said Dan Seidl, the director of facilities at NWTC.

“We have a link to our electric meters right on our system,” said Larry Maciejewski, the maintenance manager at NWTC. “So we set these alarms up and we know when we are getting close to that new higher limit.”

When levels get too high, a college-wide memo is sent to employees to reduce energy use. They’re encouraged to turn off lights or equipment that’s not being used at that time.

“There are classes going on, so it can be difficult,” said Seidl.

Results can be almost instant. Within minutes of a memo being sent out this week, energy use at the school dropped 6%.

At your home, similar energy saving moves can keep your bills in line.

“Basically anything you do in your house that adds heat to it, you should avoid when it’s a hot, humid day like today,” said Kerry Spees with Wisconsin Public Service.

That includes limiting baking and laundry. You can also save by closing your curtains and keeping lights off.  Increasing the air conditioning temperature also helps, especially if you’re gone for a long period of time.

“If it’s only going to be a short period of time, it’s probably not going to make any difference if you mess with the thermostat,” said Spees.

While the small changes can save you a few bucks at home, at larger buildings like NWTC they can mean tens of thousands of dollars.

“There’s a lot of money on the line with this,” said Seidl.


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