As current artic 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 Kevin Jarosz, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy in Nebraska. “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 aren’t a factor, set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and reduce it 2 to 3 degrees while you’re away from home or sleeping.
- Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry or washing dishes can use energy to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, only wash full loads using cold water, air dry your clothes, or even better, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities.
- Check your furnace filter – make sure it’s clean and properly installed facing the correct direction.
- Make sure your furnace vent, gas fireplace vent and tankless/conventional water heater vents are free from any obstructions or debris.
- Adjust your 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 your 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%.
- Nebraska’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is currently open via DHHS: Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
- Budget Billing is a free, stable payment option offered by Black Hills Energy that makes bills more predictable by averaging the amount you pay each month so you can avoid spikes in a bill caused by seasonal anomalies.
“There has been widespread energy demand across the country, and our reliable system and team is ready to respond to the historic cold. We applaud and appreciate the businesses who have scaled down their energy usage to allow more capacity for homes. They’ve set a good example of steps we can all take to ensure we’re collectively resilient through this storm,” Jarosz added. About Black Hills EnergyBlack Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.28 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com and www.blackhillsenergy.com.