PUD offers tips to conserve energy, water during heat wave

To save energy, consider a cool shower.

Along with the temperature, Snohomish County PUD customers’ power and water demands promise to climb over the next few days. The PUD is prepared to meet high energy and water demand, but small changes in customer behavior to conserve can decrease stress on the grid and water system.

Earlier this week, the National Weather Service issued a multi-day heat warning for the Puget Sound region, which is forecast to be in the mid-80s through Wednesday. Due to the high temperatures, the PUD is anticipating high energy and water demands on its system.

During hot summer days, energy demand peaks after noon and before 10 p.m. On Monday, the PUD’s peak energy demand was about 60% above average. That promises to continue Tuesday and Wednesday as temperatures continue to climb.

“The energy demand peaks that come with high temperatures can stress the grid and force the PUD to purchase expensive power on the market,” said Peter Dauenhauer, PUD senior manager power supply, rates and energy risk management. “Conservation efforts by our customers, especially in the late afternoon and early evening, can help the grid, save the PUD money and maintain the PUD’s clean energy supply.”

Customers should try to conserve energy usage during those times, including pre-cooling your space before 5 p.m. and waiting until 7 p.m. to turn air conditioning units and other cooling equipment back on. Consider these conservation tips to save money and keep your space comfortable:

Keep your thermostat up to 78 degrees: If you have a central air conditioning unit, set your thermostat up to 78 degrees when you’re home and 84 degrees when you’re not. You can save 3-5% in home cooling costs for every degree you raise it.

Close your blinds: Keeping your blinds, shades or curtains closed on hot days keeps sun rays out and helps keep your home cool. If you have air conditioning, it can also help you save energy, blocking up to 45% of the sun’s warmth.

Use small appliances in the kitchen: Instead of using your full-sized range or oven to cook meals, use a crock pot, microwave or the grill to keep your home cooler and save energy. Smaller appliances can use only 20-50% of the energy needed to cook the same meal.

Wait to run dishwasher, laundry: Avoid using your dishwasher or washing machine and dryer until later at night. Also take a cool shower instead of a warm one.

The PUD’s water utility is not anticipating any heat-related interruptions to its water supply this week, but the high temperatures and associated increase in water usage can stress the water system. The PUD is asking customers to conserve water during the heat wave.

Consider these tips to help conserve water outdoors:

– Adjust your sprinklers so that they are watering your lawn and garden and not the street or sidewalk.

– Water early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.

– Apply the amount of water your soil can absorb. Water thoroughly but infrequently. If run-off puddling occurs, break longer watering sessions into several short sessions allowing water to soak in the soil.

The PUD works year-round to help customers conserve their energy and water usage. For more information on energy-efficient products, visit snopud.com/rebates.

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