Heat waves and power outages have been plaguing the nation in recent weeks and temperatures are expected to rise higher than usual in San Diego County within a few days.
In these extreme weather conditions, its important for people to be aware of how much power they are using because the high demand for energy and high temperatures go hand-and-hand, said Dave Weil, director of building commissioning and sustainability at the University of California, San Diego. At UC San Diego, saving energy is a top priority all year-round. The university generates about 90 percent of its annual electricity demand.
Later this week, forecasters expect temperatures in San Diego to peak between 95 and 105 degrees in the inland valleys; 90 and 100 in the mountains below 6,000 feet; 75 and 90 in the mountains above 6,000 feet; 115 and 120 in the lower deserts; and 100 and 110 in the upper deserts.
High temperatures were one of the causes of the major blackout that hit the Southwest in September of 2011. However, there are several simple ways community members can beat the heat and save energy during the summer months, according to Kristin Hansen, sustainability analyst at UC San Diego.
These energy saving practices include:
Adjust your thermostatChanging your home temperature setting to 75 degrees during the summer avoids over chilling your space and keeps your energy bill down.
Consider line drying your laundry or hang drying towelsLet the sun do the work for free!
Plug your appliances into a power strip especially your TV devicesWith the rise of the flat screen TVs, cable boxes and DVRs, TV set-ups are now surpassing refrigerators as the biggest energy hog in American homes. Dont forget that all these appliances draw energy even when they are turned off, but still plugged in. Power strips are an easy solution to help you remember to unplug devices and completely power off.
Adjust your water heater to a lower temperatureYou can easily lower your water heaters temperature to 120 degrees to save energy and money. Ask your plumber for assistance so you can start realizing savings!
Use light appliances that you really needEven a basic light bulb can heat a room.
Weather-strip the doors in your homeThis cheap and easy solution for the home ensures chilled air doesnt escape and keeps warm air from creeping into the home.
Keep drapes closed and shades drawnThe amount of energy required to cool your home will be considerably less.
Weil notes that UC San Diego saves energy through the use of an ultra-clean and efficient natural-gas-fired cogeneration plant, renewable energy fuel cell and solar photovoltaics.
The impact of these energy initiatives is a significant example of UC San Diegos comprehensive approach to creating a sustainable campus, he said. All campus facilities and operations are being redesigned to create a highly energy-efficient, carbon-neutral campus by 2025.
For more information about UC San Diegos energy efficiency, go to sustainability.ucsd.edu/initiatives/energy-production.html.
Explore further: UC San Diego begins trading greenhouse gas credits on Chicago Climate Exchange