Monday, June 11, 2007

Energy Tip: Don't Run The A/C All The Time

There's an urban myth that it's less expensive to simply run your air conditioning all the time during the summer as opposed to turning it on and off when the house is empty or the temperatures are mild.

The fact is, you'll save plenty by turning off the A/C--or turning up the thermostat--when your house is empty, or on nights like we've had of late when humidity is low and temps are mild.

For example, if your house or apartment is empty all day while you're at work, etc, turn off the A/C, or turn up the thermostat. When you get home, it will cool off pretty quickly and will not use nearly the energy it would if you left it on all day. (Better yet, install a timer so you can arrive home to a cooled environment.)

On nice nights, turn off the A/C and open a few windows. You'll be more comfortable, your home will air out and you'll save plenty on electricity.

1 comment:

floodguy said...

More appropriately, check with your local electric utility provider and ask if they have a "load management" program you can subscript to.

During about 5 to 20 days out of the summer when electric demand is the highest, electric companies are pressed to meet customer demands.

By subscribing to a load management program, a participant is basically allowing the electric provider to act as their thermostats during those 5 to 20 days of the year.

NOVEC's load management program for example, will turn off your ac unit for 7 minutes once every :30 minutes. This gives NOVEC the ability to understand how much electricity it can then redirect to meet demand.

If you subscribe, NOVEC for example will pay some sort of repair to the unit or do annual maintenance. Not sure what Dominion does. If you elect to opt out afterwards, you are free to do so.

Participation in such a program will help curtail the need for new power plants & new transmission lines, as spikes in peak demand are the primary drivers to generation and transmission expansion.

This is what I call "passive" demand side management or demand response. More active participation in energy conservation or geared towards larger buildings, gov'ts, etc.

The potential for this type of energy conservation can save b/n 3% to 20% in demand off a gird, depending on the location.

People do not realize that there is so much electricity produced and in the gird already, but is just merely wasted and never used. The sad thing about it is that all of use already pay for this wasted electricity regardless.

The state of CA found energy conservation such an beneficial means for new power, since it was clean, cheap and the easiest to obtain, it is now state law that utilities must first consider it, before any other source of power, wind, thermal, solar, etc.

Congress is now seeing the light as it is also a prime candidate to reduce GHG and C02 before technology solves our climate issues 20 years from now.

See Brochure.pdf