NC Public Power Urges Smart Energy Use During Early Hot Spell and Throughout Summer

Jun 25, 2010, 16:14 ET from ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc.

RALEIGH, N.C., June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although the first official day of summer came June 21, North Carolina started feeling hot, humid weather much earlier. By mid-June, many North Carolinians had endured more than 14 days of high temperatures in the 90s.

In the Raleigh area, the first week of summer saw highs of nearly 100 degrees, with heat indices over 100 degrees. Raleigh's normal June average high is 84 degrees. High temperatures in the Charlotte area are only slightly lower.

Extreme temperatures lead to high electric usage, and higher-than-average electric bills. NC Public Power urges you to be conscious of your electric usage during this period of high demand. The biggest summer energy users are air conditioning, water heating and operating refrigerators and freezers. Below are some tips that can help you save energy and save money during the summer season:

  • Keep your air conditioner set on 78 degrees or higher. One degree change will affect your cooling energy use from 3 percent to 5 percent.
  • Set your thermostat up when you are away from home, at night and during peak times.
  • Make sure your duct system is sealed, especially if it is in the attic. Attic temperatures can rise to 140 degrees and leaky ductwork can bring this heat into your house.
  • Inspect your air filters monthly and change as needed.
  • Use ceiling fans as much as possible. They help evaporate moisture from your skin, making you feel cooler.
  • Run exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom when cooking and bathing/showering. These activities add heat and moisture to the house.
  • Close blinds and drapes during the hottest part of the day to reflect sunlight and heat away from your home's interior.
  • Change out incandescent lights to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). They not only reduce electric use for lighting by 75 percent, they also reduce the heat produced from lighting by 75 percent.
  • A full freezer costs less to run than an empty one. Fill empty two-liter plastic bottles with water and put in the freezer if you need to fill your freezer.
  • If you have a second, older refrigerator or freezer located in a garage or any unconditioned space, consider consolidating food to the main refrigerator or freezer instead. Older appliances are much less efficient than newer models and can use up to two times more electricity than if located in a conditioned space.

For more energy-saving tips, visit the "Save Energy" section of or contact your municipal electric provider for local savings programs and tips.

ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc. (ElectriCities), North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1 (NCMPA1), North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) - More than 70 North Carolina public power communities, municipally owned and operated electric systems, serve more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina. ElectriCities' members in NC, SC and VA serve more than one million customers. Most have been providing reliable electric service for 100 years or more. ElectriCities is the service organization that provides customer service and safety training, emergency and technical assistance, communications, government affairs and legal services to public power communities. ElectriCities provides management services to the state's two municipal power agencies: NCMPA1 and NCEMPA. NCMPA1 has 19 member cities in the western part of North Carolina and NCEMPA has 32 member cities in eastern North Carolina. More information about ElectriCities is available at More information about the Power Agencies and NC Public Power is available at

SOURCE ElectriCities of North Carolina, Inc.