COLORADO SPRINGS — As temperatures rise and air conditioner use increases, Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) wants to remind customers to take a few simple steps to help save on their bills and reduce demands on the utility’s electric grid and water supply.
Energy saving tips
Beat the heat—with or without air conditioning:
- Ceiling fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down.
- Open doors and windows in the morning to cool the home naturally.
- Use a fan on one end of the house to blow cool air in, and another at the other end facing outside to blow warm air out.
- Close all the windows and doors once the home is cooled. Close thick blackout curtains or blinds to protect from the sun’s heat.
- Use portable fans throughout the house to move air around.
- Use home appliances like dryers and dishwashers during early morning or late evening hours. While these appliances are on, they let off extra heat. Even better, hang dry your clothes.
- These are the perfect nights to cook on a grill outside or use your microwave. Skip the oven.
For homes with a cooling system:
- Set the thermostat higher on hot days so the cooling system doesn’t work overtime.
- Thermostats should also be left higher when not at home or at night when sleeping.
- A smart thermostat will help schedule your system to run more efficiently.
- Change the filter. This low-cost, easy-to-do task can save up to 15% on energy use.
- Clean any dirt, leaves or debris near an outside unit.
Be water-wise with six key rules:
- You may water up to three days a week. You choose the days.
- From May 1 to Oct. 15, water before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to reduce evaporation.
- Don’t let water pool on hard surfaces or flow down gutters.
- Repair leaking sprinkler systems within 10 days.
- Use a shut-off nozzle when washing anything with a hose.
- Clean hard surfaces (such as driveways, sidewalks and patios) with water only if there is a public health and safety concern.
- Reminder, Springs Utilities offers rebates for smart irrigation controllers, rain sensors, sprinkler heads and more.
New Program: Peak Energy Rewards
The Peak Energy Rewards program – available to customers with a qualifying smart thermostat and central air – is designed to help reduce energy use during times of high energy demand.
- Residential and business electric customers who have central air conditioning and own a qualifying smart thermostat receive a $50 bill credit for enrolling in Peak Energy Rewards.
- Additionally, customers who stay enrolled in the program can receive an additional $25 bill credit each year.
- How it works
- From May 1 through Sept. 30, Springs Utilities may occasionally adjust a customer-enrolled thermostat(s) in their home or business during periods of high energy demand.
- During these events, the thermostat will pre-cool, then the temperature will be adjusted no more than four degrees for a period no longer than four hours.
- Events will not occur on weekends or holidays, except in the event of a rare system emergency.
- Customers can opt-out of peak energy events from their mobile device, web browser or thermostat by simply changing the temperature setpoint.