City asks residents to conserve energy
By JANE UTECHT, Staff Reporter
With heat indexes over 100 for the last few days, the Madison Electricl Department issued an energy usage alert on Wednesday.|
"It's been a hot, muggy, miserable week," said Tess Nelson, load management and operations director. Anytime the weather is like that day after day, it is taxing on the system, she said, and the city is forced to buy supplemental power, which adds to costs.
City residents are asked to conserve energy by turning off extra lights and not doing laundry or running dishwashers, or at least operating those high-energy appliances in the early morning or late evening.
The city offers residents a load management program, which "really helps at a time like this," Nelson said.
The program monitors and controls customers' appliances (water heaters, air conditioners, etc.) and shifts the use of some of those appliances to off-peak times. The customers are reimbursed with incentives in the form of reduced rates and credits if in the program.
"It saves a lot of money," Nelson said.
However, weeks like this can be a bit taxing for those customers on the program who are trying to keep their house cool.
"This is when they earn the credits," she said.
The city has about 3,200 controllable items, which "save a lot of money," said Nelson.
Whether or not they are signed up with the voluntary program, Nelson said, customers should practice energy conservation through the end of the week.