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Tips to curb home energy and power consumption

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 9:25 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - With the stretch of cold weather in South Dakota, residents have upped their energy consumption.

But, this has lead to a rolling power outage.

I asked Chris Nelson, SD Public Utilities Commissioner, “Do you think that we, just regular people, use a lot more energy than we think?”

He replied, “That’s absolutely the case and it points out why it’s important for us to be cognizant of what we have that consumes electricity and how we use those items.”

The most recent report by U.S. Energy Information Administration, breaks down the average consumption of energy in homes for 2019.

Nearly 40% was used for other uses including appliances like dishwashers, stoves, computers, washers and dryers.

Nelson said, “Waiting to wash your laundry, run the dryer, run the dishwasher, any of those kinds of things that you can simply put off for a couple of days, that’s going to be really helpful to us.”

Another major source of energy? Roughly one third was for heating and cooling homes.

So in this case, consider turning down the heat a few notches.

Electricity for lighting and televisions amounted to about 9%. So, try unplugging items such as TVs, phone chargers and lamps.

Nelson said, “All the way down to simply light bulbs. If we can shut off the lights when we’re not using them, even simple things like that can reduce our electric consumption.”

While it may be a small action to switch off a light or unplug a space heater, it’s a noticeable improvement when everyone’s making these efforts.

“The grid operator told us late this morning, that they could see people actually reducing their consumption during that time as we had all been asking folks to do and it allowed them to get passed that emergency time period faster,” added Nelson.

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