These last few days have felt like scorchers, but Colorado Springs Utilities' customers are far from setting a peak for power usage, according to figures provided by the city-owned agency.
In Colorado Springs, electric demand has been reaching around 800 megawatts each day this week, short of the record peak of 863 MW, but far higher than the 600 - 700 MW peak for an average day, says Utilities spokesman Dave Grossman.
The city has taken advantage of others' needs during these hot days. Monday through Thursday this week, Springs Utilities sold a total of $372,100 in excess power outside our service territory, the Utilities website reports. Net margin (revenue over and above our costs) can range from 5 to 25 percent of total sales, depending on market prices and fuel costs. The net margin goes directly to offset costs for coal and natural gas, reducing the need for future rate increases for customers.
"As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling," he says in an e-mail. "So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your bill - and your comfort."
Grossman also offered some tips that will make you more comfortable and save some cash year round:
• Change your air filter regularly
• Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly
• Install a programmable thermostat
• Seal your heating and cooling ducts
• Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment