SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass News is getting answers on how you can keep your electric bill down during this heat wave and if we can expect brownouts similar to what the pacific northwest is experiencing.
We spoke with Eversource and contacted local communities' water departments. They told us that western Massachusetts should be in the clear regarding electrical power, but water use restrictions are still in place locally.
“It is a bit of a struggle, but you know, it’s hot out. You got to stay cool,” said Alex Dabieu of Longmeadow.
Dabieu is trying to stay cool while keeping his family’s electric bill down.
“Just try to balance it out - not waste energy,” Dabieu added.
Western Mass News reached out to Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress to get answers about electric bill concerns for people like Dabieu.
“I think that happy medium is again being mindful, thinking about simple things that you can do that don’t cost you anything - pull the blinds down, you can also use fans,” Ress explained.
She also told Western Mass News that the region will be in the clear for electrical supply this summer.
“What we have heard from ISO New England is that we are, we do have enough supply, there is enough electricity that we are not in danger,” Ress noted.
While electric supply is not an issue, some communities still have water restrictions in place. The city of Northampton is continuing their restriction which dates back to April. We received a statement from the city’s Department of Public Works that read, in part, “Effective immediately, the city of Northampton Department of Public Works (DPW) is implementing a water use restriction for users of the Northampton public water supply. The recent drought conditions in the northeast have triggered the need for this water restriction.” This includes irrigation of lawns and plants, washing of vehicles, and washing of exterior buildings and surfaces.
We also asked Ress how residents can keep their bills low this summer and figure out where they can save money. She showed us Eversource’s cooling cost calculator, so we gave it a try. It reveals that by raising a standard efficiency thermostat by four degrees - from 70° to 74° - would save nearly half the money - $91 versus $51 - for a 1,000 square foot home over the summer. She added that now is the perfect time to get your home checked for leaks that could be raising your bills.
“A home energy assessment in the summer is a great idea because what happens is it plugs up any leaks in your home,” Ress said.
Ress emphasized being mindful about your appliance usage, including cooking early in the morning and late at night. She also said pool pumps are often a big source of energy in the summer.