Liberal, KS

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Prolonged Cold Fronts Can Increase Energy Demand and Customer Costs

Joe Denoyer - January 18, 2024 4:30 pm

Tips to save energy as winter weather continues in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. – Jan. 18, 2024 – Black Hills Energy is tracking another cold front set to bring more freezing temperatures to Kansas. With colder weather comes higher energy demand, which will lead to higher utility bills for customers.

“When temperatures drop and customers are stuck at home for several days like we’ve witnessed this past week, energy use can increase and lead to higher monthly bills,” Marc Eyre, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy in Kansas. “Even though you might not have touched your thermostat, the workload on your heater increased as the temperature dropped. If your thermostat was set at 68 degrees and it was 18 degrees outside, it took an additional 50 degrees of heat and energy to make up that difference.”

Energy conservation tips

Black Hills Energy is ready to help customers reduce energy use while demand is high and manage their energy use through simple, easy tips:

Check your thermostat – If health concerns are not a factor, set your thermostat to 68 degrees and reduce it 2 to 3 degrees while away from home or sleeping.

Lower your water heater setting – Lowering your temperature setting a few degrees can also save energy. Reducing the water heater temperature to under 120 degrees can save you up to 10% on your water heater costs.

Limit laundry and household chores – That’s right…hold on chores until temperatures get above freezing. If you must do laundry or wash dishes, consider strategies for using energy efficiently. For example, run full loads of laundry to avoid using more hot water than necessary. If you’re using the dishwasher, change the settings to air dry.

Multitask when cooking – Cooking with the family can be a fun way to pass the time but also a source of higher-than-normal energy use. If you plan on cooking multiple dishes or tasty treats, bake as many as you can at the same time. Take advantage of the energy that goes into heating up the oven fewer times to use less energy.

Keep the warm air – Keep the garage closed, and use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans only as needed. In just one hour, these fans can exhaust a house full of warm air.
Not using it? Unplug it – Unplug office equipment like printers, shredders, scanners, and other household appliances, like your coffee maker, to prevent them from pulling energy when not in use.
Check your furnace filter – Make sure the furnace filter is clean and properly installed facing the correct direction.

Let the sun do the work – Open blinds and drapes on all south-facing windows to let the sun naturally heat your home during the day. Particularly for those spending more time at home today, this prevents you from having to run the heat 24/7 and will save you from having to turn on additional lights.
Payment assistance

The Black Hills Energy customer service team (888-890-5554) can help you determine if any support programs work for you, including:

Payment arrangements include extended payment terms that may help customers get back on track.
Budget Billing is a free payment plan that averages the amount owed each month.
Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) opened for heating assistance December 18, 2023.
Energy assistance programs supported by Black Hills Energy, like Black Hills Cares, can be accessed by visiting the assistance programs web page.
Additional resources can be found by Dialing 2-1-1 or 1-866-489-6983 to speak with a community resource specialist, text your zip code to 898-211 (TXT211) or search resources at 211.org.

Helpful links
Customers can find winter energy conservation and payment resources at blackhillsenergy.com/winter-ready, as well as receive outage notifications by logging into their account at blackhillsenergy.com.

 

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