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Economic and dam related articles

How Conserving Energy Saves Money
Now and in the Future

by Emily Florez
KIDX, December 11, 2009

IDAHO FALLS - In the last two days Idaho Falls has almost reached it's maximum limit for electricity, and if we don't start conserving now we'll up in the dark.

Van Ashton, Energy Services Manager at Idaho Falls Power, explained, "The historic peak on our system in Idaho Falls during the winter has been 155 megawatts and we reached 152 megawatts the last two days."

Due to below freezing temperatures electricity demand is only increasing. Power companies are asking us to save energy wherever we can.

Ashton said, "It is a finite resource so we don't have unlimited ability to provide electricity."

Idaho Falls generates only one-third of its electricity through the Snake River, the federal power system generates the other two-thirds of Idaho Falls electricity from the Columbia River dam.The power has to be transmitted quite a distance through transmission lines.

Saving energy now saves you from having to pay for more generating plants later, Ashton explained, "The cost to build and bring in a new generator on line is very high and that will increase the rates quite a bit."

So here are a few ways for all of us to cut our bills: open your drapes on sunny winter days, layer your clothing, and keep your thermostat around 68 degrees.

Ashton said, "For every degree you set it back you can save 2% on your power bill."

But the main power suckers are lights and plugged in appliances, the advice is to turn them off.

The power company said an incentive to do these small and simple steps to save energy is that it can save you up to 15% of your electric bill.

Emily Florez
How Conserving Energy Saves Money Now and in the Future
KIDX, December 11, 2009

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