Help Control Rising Energy Costs
A variety of factors are driving the increase in electric costs including our ever growing demand for electricity. There are steps we all can take to control the amount of electricity we use, and, ultimately, control our monthly electric bill.
We know it's a difficult message to hear, but the plain truth is that energy costs are rising and will likely continue to rise.
Sturgeon Bay Utilities, and our power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power, Inc., are working hard to control costs and limit cost increases.
There are a variety of factors contributing to this increase of cost for the electricity used in your home or businesses:
- The cost of fuel to generate electricity at coal-fired power plants has increased mainly because the cost of transporting coal to the power plant has increased.
- Power plants using natural gas are operating at a higher cost becuase of the increase in gas prices.
- A newly-implemented system for buying and selling electricity on the open market - a system known as MISO (Midwest Independent System Operator) - has so far caused an increased cost in the delivered price of electricity. For example, our power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) is paying about $400,000 per month more that expected under the new system.
- Several key power plants serving Wisconsin have been, or are, out of service for repair or, in the case of nuclear plants, refueling. Although these downtimes are scheduled, when combined with other factors they contribute to an overall increase in electricity costs.
- The cost to move electricity from power plants over transmission lines has increased driven mainly by the need to build more and larger lines to accommodate our constantly increasing demand for electricity.
- The demand for electricity continues to increase.
Sturgeon Bay Utilities is working to limit electric cost increases and ease the impact of higher costs for electricity as much as possible, but the outlook is clear that energy costs will continue to increase.
Greater awareness of our consumption habits, more efficient use of electricity, and the use of more alternative energy sources must be a priority with all of us in order to ensure a safe, reliable, and affordable supply of electricity.
Things You Can Do That Cost No Money, But Can Reduce Energy Use:
- Turn down water heater thermostat to 120o degrees.
- Turn off lights when leaving a room.
- Set thermostats to 68o degrees in winter when you're home, and down to 60o degrees when you go to bed or when you're away.
- Set thermostats to no more that 10o degrees below the outside temperature in the summer.
- Use energy-saving settings on washing machines, clothes dryers, dishwashers, and refrigerators.
- Clean your refrigerator's condenser coils once a year.
- Air dry your clothes as much as possible.
- Air dry dishes as much as possible.
- Close heating vents in unused rooms.
- Close drapes (and windows) during sunny summer days and after sunset in the winter.
- Maintain the humidity level in your home between 35% and 45%.
- Set the example for everyone in your household when it comes to reducing energy use.
For more energy saving tips click here or visit the U.S. Department of Energy's
Energy Saver$ website.