KHON2 News: Hotter temperatures could mean higher electric bills
By Nikki Schenfeld, KHON2 Reporter
You could be getting a bigger electric bill this month.
With record high temperatures more people are turning on their air conditions earlier than they did last year.
The official start of summer is next week.
But just walk outside and you can feel that summer is in the air.
According to the National Weather Service since May 16 there have been 19 days where record high temperatures have been reported across the state.
Those high numbers are starting to show on electric bills.
"What we're seeing is a lot more days where we reached our evening peak," said Hawaiian Electric Company spokeswoman Shannon Tangonan. "Our evening peak goes above 1000 megawatts."
Hawaiian electric says peak hours are between 6 and 9 p.m. when people typically get home from work.
"That's when everyone goes home," said Tangoan. "Everyone turns on the air condition. Everyone does laundry, goes in the shower."
She says in May 2018, there were five days when HECO customers went above 1,000 megawatts during the evening peak.
"In May of 2019 what we're seeing is more than double that. 12 evening peaks where it hit over 1,000," said Tangonan.
They're preparing to see more usage.
"What we do ask though is for everyone to always be aware of your usage," said Tangonan.
For example if you have to put your air condition on try not to run it all day long.
"If you have a timer built in or a thermostat, set it for 30 minutes or an hour before you get home," said Hawaii Energy Marking Manager Shayna Doi. "That way you can still get that affect but it's not going the whole day."
She says the same goes for sleep timers too. Try to avoid cooking inside and switch over to LED lightbulbs.
"If you've got those old incandescent bulbs they're also giving off a lot of heat," said Doi. "The bathroom, small spaces, and that way your air conditioner has to work a lot harder to bring the temp down."
Other tips to conserve energy include using fans, utilizing trade winds, limiting showers to two minutes, hand washing dishes and hang drying clothes.
If you're using a ceiling fan make sure it rotates counter clockwise so the hot air moves up.
"This warmer trend you're going to see your bill are going to go a little higher if you're utilizing your air condition during the warmer months," said Tangonan.
About Hawaii Energy
Hawai‘i Energy helps island families and businesses make smart energy choices. Hawai‘i Energy encourages and rewards energy decisions that will allow our state to reach 100% clean energy faster and cheaper. To date, we have saved the people of Hawai‘i more than a billion dollars off their energy bills. Let Hawai‘i Energy be your trusted energy advisor to help save you money and protect what makes Hawai‘i so special. For more information, please visit hawaiienergy.com/about.