Heat means demand on power companies

By Christy Hendricks - email

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A lot of air conditioners and fans are running non-stop with the high temperatures outside.
While area electric companies and power suppliers don't foresee a problem with brownouts or blackouts from the extra demand during the hot summer months, they say it's always good to conserve energy.
During the hot days of summer, you're air conditioner is working overtime.  That cool air you feel now means more power from your electric company.
Glen Cantrell, the communications manager for SEMO Electric Co-op, says his company distributes almost twice as much during the peak months of summer than in the cooler months of fall and spring.
"We've seen the trend over the past number of years is the consumption of electricity going up," Cantrell said. "We've become electricity hogs."
While Cantrell is not particularly worried about brownouts, SEMO Electric uses a power station from their power provider during peak times for extra electricity.
"At a peak time if it looks like we need more, they'll turn this facility on that's run by natural gas.  So it'll help generate more electricity to take care of that peak demand time," Cantrell said.
Some energy saving tips, unplug devices when you're not using them, like your cell phone charger.  Even though the cell phone isn't charging, the charger still draws power from the outlet.  Turn off the lights whenever you leave the room.
Cantrell recommends turning off the TV or computer if you're not using it and do your laundry in the morning or late evening.
"Check your refrigerator," Cantrell said. "Sometimes your refrigerator as it gets older, it'll consume more electricity."
He also recommends checking the insulation on your windows, cleaning out your air conditioner, and keeping curtains closed to keep the sun from warming up your home.
All those little things can add up to big saving.
"Not only does it keep the consumption down, but also keeps our electric bill down too," Cantrell said. "With the economy the way it is right now, that's really important."

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