Resources to Help Manage Summertime Electric Use

Resources to Help Manage Summertime Electric Use - June 2023 CCL CEO Article

By Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

In March, we talked about the concept of “beating the peak” of MVEA’s energy demand by spreading electric use out throughout the day, and avoiding heavy energy use during the peak demand times of 5-10 p.m. With summer right around the corner, it’s a great time to put these concepts into practice and help reduce the summer peak power supply costs that affect every MVEA member. It’s also a great time to look at energy-saving resources to help manage electric use.

The temperature outside has a big impact on the amount of energy that is used to control the temperature inside. Keeping the home cool as the temperatures rise, paired with having more people at home while the kids are out of school, are common causes of increased electric bills. In fact, the home cooling system is the most common culprit behind MVEA’s costly summer peak energy demand.

Twenty years ago, homes with central air conditioning were the exception rather than the rule in MVEA’s service territory. Today, air conditioning is a common home feature that has a big impact on summer energy use and MVEA’s peak energy demand. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, nearly one-third of electric use goes toward running our heating and cooling systems.

Besides air conditioning, there are many smaller variables that can make a big difference in the energy households consume when more people are in the home: video games, large televisions, multiple televisions, more people going inside and out, and more people using appliances.

Personally, as a member of MVEA, I’m always looking for ways I can prepare my home for the warm days ahead. This month, I want to share four resources that will make it easier to monitor your electric use and become more energy efficient — not just in the summer, but all year long.

  1. Your digital meter, paired with online account management through SmartHub®, is a powerful tool to help you become more energy efficient. Wondering what the difference between having your air conditioner set at 78 degrees and 65 degrees is over a couple of days? With daily and hourly energy reads available, your digital meter and SmartHub account will help pinpoint high energy use spikes so you can avoid them in the future. Visit our Payment Options page to learn more about SmartHub.
  2. Explore MVEA’s “Save Energy & Money” website section. Many members find the home energy calculator to be helpful in identifying high energy use sources in their home. Get started at our Save Energy and Money page.
  3. Energy efficiency rebates help offset the cost of upgrading your home lighting, heating, cooling, and more. This program, made possible through a partnership with our power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, offers rebates to fit the needs of nearly every member who wants to save money and energy. Learn more at our Rebates page.
  4. Have you looked at the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) resources that may be available for you to use for energy efficiency upgrades, both big and small? The IRA’s home energy offerings include up-front discounts and tax credits. Learn more at our Inflation Reduction Act page.

While there are a lot of great resources that are available to help co-op members save energy and money, if you have questions about your energy use this summer, the best resource is MVEA’s team of Member Services Representatives. Contact us at (800) 388-9881 or visit our Contact Us page. If you have energy use questions, we are here to help.