ORLANDO, Fla.- - Does the scorching Florida summer sun have you desperately running back and forth to your thermostat each day? You’re not the only one.
Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida's sixth largest community-owned utility, reported that its 74,000 customers used more electricity Wednesday than on any other day in the utility’s 117-year history.
The company recorded an instantaneous system peak of 374.5 megawatts (MW) at 4:55 p.m Wednesday. This surpassed the previous record of 374.1 MW set on July 6, 2016.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,766 kilowatthours (kWh) in 2016.
Energy costs typically soar during the spring and summer months as people seek refuge indoors from the unforgiving heat. This summer, temperatures in Florida have continued to climb, with Floridians battling triple-digit heat indexes.
KUA suggests the following tips to reduce energy costs during the summertime:
Set the thermostat on the highest comfortable setting (KUA recommends 78-80 degrees). Raising the temperature just two degrees can reduce cooling costs by as much as five percent.
Change or clean air conditioner filters monthly. Dirty filters can increase operating costs by 20 percent.
Use ceiling and portable fans to keep air moving. Fans only use about as much energy as a light bulb.
Close blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day. This keeps the sun's rays from heating a house.
The U.S. Department of Energy also suggests a number of energy-saving actions, including investing in a programmable thermostat, raising the thermostat setpoint when you’re away from home, and sealing and insulating your home’s air duct systems.
Click here for more tips on how to conserve energy and money during the summer.
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