Black Hills Energy urges efficiency amid frigid temps
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
As current arctic conditions continue to impact large sections of the country, Black Hills Energy is closely monitoring the situation to ensure the impact on homes and businesses is minimized.
To date, our system has performed as intended. We have worked to ensure homes stay warm, but we need your help, said Shirley Welte, vice president of operations. There are steps you can take today to minimize the financial burden and reduce increased energy use generated by these frigid temperatures.
Here are some tips to keep your family warm while the demand for energy is so high:
If health concerns arent a factor, set thermostats to 68 degrees in the winter and reduce it 2-3 degrees while away from home or sleeping.
Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry or washing dishes can use energy to heat the water and dryer. If possible, only wash full loads using cold water, air dry clothes or even better, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities.
Check that furnace filters are clean and properly installed facing the correct direction.
Make sure furnace vents, gas fireplace vents and tankless/conventional water heater vents are free from obstructions or debris.
Adjust the humidity. A well-humidified house at 68 degrees is as comfortable as a dry house at 75 degrees.
Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans only as needed. In just one hour, these fans can exhaust a house full of warmed air.
Reduce hot water usage. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads and take short showers instead of baths. Set the temperature on the water heater to 120 degrees or put it on the warm setting.
Black Hills Energy also realizes increased nationwide usage could result in higher bills, and there are a number of resources available to support customers:
The easiest way for families to access emergency assistance funds is to call 211, and a representative will connect them with a utility assistance case worker in their area.
Customers in the Black Hills Energy service territory are eligible for Black Hills Cares funds, a utility assistance program made possible by donations from fellow customers. The Black Hills Energy Foundation matches those donations at 100 percent.
The Iowa Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) application period is currently open via Department Community Action Agencies: https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/liheap
Budget Billing is a free, stable payment option offered by Black Hills Energy that makes bills more predictable by averaging the amount paid each month so customers can avoid spikes in a bill caused by seasonal anomalies.