January stills holds Tville's energy peak record - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

January stills holds Tville's energy peak record

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –The City of Thomasville usually sees its highest electricity use of the year around this time.

So far, January still holds the year's record because of the bitter cold that gripped south Georgia.

But we are using a lot of power lately with air-conditioners running around the clock.

When temperatures soar, electricity bills usually do the same.

"We're seeing relatively high bills cause of the summer heat and more folks are having concerns with getting bills paid," says Lynn Williams, Thomasville's Assistant City Manager of Customer Service.

Thomasville Utilities customer Eddie Hill adds, "I definitely had some occasions where I needed to get some assistance."

But even with the blazing summer heat, Thomasville's highest energy consumption came at an usual time.

This year we had a really really cold period in early January so we set our peak for the year so far during that time," explains Williams.

"It was tough trying to stay warm. I was staying in a large home at that time and we could only afford to keep the bedroom warm," Hill recalls. "There was also an incident when I tried to use a wood-burning stove but that didn't work out too well."

Officials say the 130-megawatt peak came from several heat pumps switching to emergency heat that uses more energy. And although that record hasn't been broken, summer energy use is on the rise.

Most people know to set their thermostats to 78-degrees in the summer to keep one of these from working overtime and increasing that electricity bill. But your air conditioning unit may not be the only thing sucking up energy.

Appliances plugged in when not in use, half-empty dishwasher loads, and non-programmable thermostats can also use more energy.

"It's important to watch our peaks because we have to buy energy and capacity to cover them. Peaks tell us this is how much energy we need to have in reserve," Williams says.

Officials say it's wise to conserve energy not only because it's environmentally friendly and prevents possible blackouts, but also to cut costs and in turn, your electric bill.

Officials say Thomasville's electric rates are among the lowest in the state.

They say the city's residential electric cost is about 99-dollars per 1000 kilowatt hours.

That's 6-percent lower than the state average.

 
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