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Heat Wave Has Clarksdale Using More Electricity to Stay Cool

Aug 02, 2023

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A few simple steps can help residents and businesses manage energy costs The summer heat wave has local residents and businesses running air conditioners at full capacity to stay cool and comfortable.

“Temperatures have been hovering at or near the triple digits throughout the South for weeks, and demand for electricity is soaring,” said Curtis Boschert, general manager of Clarksdale Public Utilities. “We’re focused on reliability and making sure our electrical system is prepared to meet our customers’ needs, no matter how long the trend continues.”

Wider use of air conditioning and electrical devices such as computers have boosted summer demand for the past few years. This month, however, the string of high-heat days and the lack of relief overnight have greatly increased energy usage.

“It is still above 80 degrees well into the night,” said Boschert. “When the weather is that hot for so many days, people are running their air conditioners around the clock, and that means the generation sources we depend on must run around the clock as well.”

Boschert added that while he is confident that Clarksdale Public Utilities has taken appropriate steps to meet the excessive uses of energy this summer, customers are urged to conserve electricity whenever possible in order to better manage their energy costs.

Some tips to better manage electrical usage include:

• Raise the air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher.

• Use energy-efficient ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air when thermostat settings are higher.

• Turn off window or central air conditioning units if you are leaving town on vacation or for a long weekend.

• Have a professional inspect your air conditioner and check the refrigerant level. A low level of refrigerant will waste electricity.

• Keep cooled air inside your home. Caulk around doors and windows, close the fireplace damper, and fill holes and gaps where wiring and pipes enter the house.

• Draw blinds, drapes, and curtains to keep direct sunlight from warming the house.

• Check the filter on air conditioners at least once each month. Change as necessary.

• Check seals on all refrigerator and freezer doors.

• Do laundry, wash dishes, bathe and mop floors in the late evening or early morning to decrease humidity during the hottest hours of the day.

• Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and keep the oven door closed while baking.

• Make sure your clothes dryer and attic are vented properly.

• Use trees and shrubs to shade your home (but plan for future tree growth to avoid having branches near power lines).

Clarksdale Public Utilities is a municipally owned utility serving approximately 6,800 homes and businesses in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Its mission is to safely provide sustainable electric, water and wastewater services in a reliable and courteous manner by well-trained team members, committed to top quality, efficient operations, competitive rates and the vitality of the community.

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