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LES offers ways to save on electric bills amid stretch of hot weather

According to LES, this is actually the 5th straight year without a system-wide rate increase for their customers.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 8:15 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraskans will begin shelling out more on their electric bill this summer amid of a stretch of very hot temperatures and an increased use of air conditioning and electric fans.

According to an LES energy specialist, rates have remained the same per killowatt hour as last year, the fifth straight year the electric utility said it has gone without a system-wide rate increase for their customers.

During the summer, rates are historically higher. This year, LES said customers will pay about seven cents per kWh from June 1 to September 30. That’s up from the five-and-a-half cents that customers paid during the rest of the year. LES said both rates were slightly lower than from years past.

“This year, our energy rate went down compared to last year,” said Jay Stoa, an Energy Services Specialist at LES. “If you’re looking at your electric bill, the electric energy consumption may not show as more energy because our rates have gone down.”

In 2021, it cost the average Lincoln home $2.73 per day to power all the items in their home, which was only up a penny from 2020.

Things you can do to save a little money:

  • Check your furnace and air conditioning filters. Dirt and debris can make these appliances work much harder, making it more expensive.
  • Run ceiling fans, but only when you’re home. It can actually make you feel two to four degrees cooler than it actually is.
  • Try not to use heat generating appliances between 3 and 7 p.m. Your air conditioner is going to work in overdrive making it cooler.
  • Close drapes and blinds, keep that heat outside not inside.

A common mistake made by customers is turning off their air conditioning unit when they’re not home. This is actually going to cost more, because it takes more energy to cool a living space back down to a desirable temperatures, Stoa said. He recommended leaving the thermostat at 78 degrees.

“An air-conditioner is really only designed and sized to maintain 75 degrees when the outdoor air is 95 degrees,” Stoa said. “The system is going a lot longer than it needs to and it may not maintain those temperatures, so doing these little things are going to help the air conditioner operate and perform better.”

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