Don't Sweat It
"Ooh, it's a hot one," said Alex Archuleta of Columbia's Water and Light Department. "Yeah, it gets real hot sometimes. You got to stay cool, drink a lot of water."
Archuleta installs load management switches, which the department uses when temperatures are high.
"During days when it's about a 115 on the heat index, it shuts your unit off for seven and a half minutes during peak load so we can save megawatts," he explained.
The switches let the department regulate air conditioners throughout Columbia, so the city can avoid power spikes. When the demand for power is more than the available supply, the city issues a peak warning. Water and Light gives the free switches to anyone in Columbia.
"Our philosophy is that, since we are a municipally-owned utility and the citizens of Columbia own us, we should do everything possible to help them conserve energy," said Connie Kacprowicz of Columbia Water and Light.Ameren UE said you should use only as much electricty and air conditioning as you need.
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