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Rethink Thermostat as High Nears 100

Borough reminds residents adjusting AC can make a difference for its electric utility.

With forecast highs for Madison of 98 on Tuesday and 94 on Wednesday, the Madison Electric Utility is asking residents to consider conserving energy from 3 to 6 p.m. on those days to ease the strain on the electric grid and, in turn, the utility's budget.

"We expect the electric grid that serves Madison to experience very high energy demand" during that time, a borough email says.

Increased demand can lead to costly "peak demand charges" that can total millions of dollars for the borough. By having residents and business voluntarily reduce electric consumption for a few hours on the hottest days of the year, the borough estimates it could save $80,000 in peak demand charges.

According to the borough website,

These savings could help reduce electric rates AND help reduce property taxes.

RoseNet.org has more information about becoming a Madison Electric Curtailment Volunteer, a program that's designed to save the borough money on peak demand charges.

Among the suggestions:

  1. Turn off unnecessary lights and electronics and unplug charging units.
  2. Postpone use of major appliances such as your electric clothes dryer or dish washer until after 7 p.m.
  3. Turn your electric hot water heater to 'vacation' setting.
  4. Temporarily raise your air conditioning unit to 77 degrees.
  5. Consider turning down your air conditioner and going to the movies, mall, library or other public building.
Mikey D July 17, 2012 at 12:08 PM
"According to the borough website, These savings could help reduce electric rates AND help reduce property taxes." Reduce property taxes? That, simply put, is a lie.
Linda Augustine July 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I can't believe what I've just read! Madison residents are being asked to suffer of the hottest days of summer because of the weakness of the town's electric resources! Well, then, turn the electric supply business over to competent professionals! What idiot in govt was so arrogant & naively self important to think that the town could handle the job! I hate the incompetence & exorbitant prices of Madison's plan! I hate being enslaved to this stupidity! You recommend going to the library, but it's a sauna there! So, NO, I will not be turning down my AC on the very days when I need it most!
Steve Wells July 17, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Linda's spot-on. But further, would we really want to disappoint Councilwoman Tsukamoto by turning down the AC? Remember, a few months ago she told the public she was rooting for a hot summer so we'd all have higher electric bills and thus generate more revenue for the borough. We sure wouldn't want to disappoint a representative like that who's always looking out for her constituents' financial interests.
KHRS July 17, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Turning your AC up a few degrees is good for the environment, good for your power bills and good for overall energy consumption. Turning it up to 77 is hardly suffering. There are plenty who live with no AC in this world. I personally keep mine at 80 during the day and am quite comfortable. It is just a matter of adjusting yourself to it. The boroughs advice is very reasonable and it is the same advice I have gotten from every (private) utility company I have ever had, especially in the south. Peak energy consumption commonly cause brownouts in many areas. Madison electric offers the best service of any electric company I have ever had, while helping cover some of our town services. Win, win, in my book.
Karin Swenson Szotak July 17, 2012 at 06:30 PM
So I knew you would bring this up Steve, but I'm quite confused by these conflicting statements, and perhaps someone can enlighten me. "The borough wanted a hot summer to gain revenue through electric". Now they get it, and today's (and days like today) "usage can cost us millions, but if we use less, the borough can save $80K, and reduce property taxes". Besides the boat; What am I missing here?
Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 06:58 PM
http://www.rosenet.org/gov/electric/pages/the-cost-of-peak-energy Sometimes, there is too much of a good thing.
Mikey D July 17, 2012 at 07:31 PM
The boroughs advice is reasonable but they are blatant liars if they claim that ANY savings obtained from less electric use will be sent back to us in the form of reduced property taxes. It's a lie, period.
Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Truer words were never spoken. And wait until the lower wholesale electric rates kick in two years from now. Does anyone believe it will result in lower taxes or electric rates, especially if there's a nice piece of property that "soon-to-be councilwoman" Baillie has her eye on acquiring?
KeepItReal July 17, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Wow, that was an ignorant knee-jerk rant if I've ever seen one.
Madison Station July 18, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Madison has balanced its budget for years on the electric surplus revenue. It's not a lie, and is in fact a huge asset to the community. If JCP&L could have gotten their act together back in October and fixed the feeder lines, we would have had electricity back within a day - compared to the week plus it took in other JCP&L markets. I just wish Madison would be more vested in becoming a generator in electric in addition to a supplier. If Madison could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by reducing peak demand - why not invest some of that saved money into solar panels on borough buildings and land to further reduce peak demand? The more we make and the less we buy, the more gravy for Madison.

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