The Effects of Summertime AC Demand

Every year, the scorching temperatures of summer have driven up the demand for air conditioning (and as a result, our air conditioning service). In fact, nearly half of the energy used by a U.S. household during the summer is used for cooling. This short video created by NBC News helps shed some light on the efforts made by parts of the country to help control our air conditioning usage.

Below, we transcribed it for you:

“Every summer, utility companies deal with demands so large that they can cause brown-outs and price spikes. The culprit? The air conditioner. The U.S. uses more AC than the rest of the world combined. On the hottest days, household energy consumption can be 40% above average.

Enter: the smart grid. For years, economists and utility managers have been looking for a way to control the demand for energy. Today, there are experimental programs popping up across the country. For example, in Oklahoma, customers are offered “smart” thermostats, which come with significant energy cost discounts if they use their AC’s during off hours. But, if they turn on their AC during peak demand, electricity costs can sore up to eight times higher.

The city of Baltimore recently began a program that uses behavioral science in combination with mobile apps to help people manage their energy use. But so far, even the most successful programs have barely scratched the surface. We’re a long way from signing up the 79 million potential customers across the country. But with potential savings of 5%-45%, it’s a worthwhile effort and it’s a lot cheaper than building new power plants.”

What are you doing to help use less energy?

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