State Official Offers Hot Weather Energy Tips


High temperatures and humidity are baking much of the central United States this week, sending the thermometer to above 100 degrees in some places for the first time this year. The National Weather Service calls it a heat dome, which is a high pressure system that has pushed conditions to their hottest point this summer so far.

While you can’t control your utility bill, there are some steps that can be taken to better manage utility bills. Anthony Swinger is a spokesman for the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and has some tips, including waiting to use the big appliances until nighttime.

“They may give off heat that you and I won’t feel but the thermostat will, so if you’re going to cook during the day it’s best to go with the microwave, and again hold off ’til evening, ’til it’s dark to do laundry and run the dishwasher,” Swinger said.

He adds there are many low-cost and no-cost steps that can help add up to savings for the consumer while helping to ease the electric grid’s workload at its busiest time.

They include unplugging anything that’s not being used, including cell phone, tablet and computer chargers. Swinger says they use small amounts of electricity whenever they are plugged in.

He also says ceiling fans should be turned off when you leave the room. They should also be set to turn counter-clockwise at higher speeds in the summer in the summer to move a breeze around. In the winter, switch fans to turn clockwise and set them to lower speeds to help distribute heat.