April 2020 EnergyWiseSM Tip: Efficiency and Public Power



By: Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer

COVID-19. It’s all we hear about these days. Less than three months ago, we heard the first news regarding the outbreak. Now, it seems nearly every article relates to the crisis. At a time like this, few people would reflect on the importance of efficiency and public power. It’s enough for most just having confidence their lights will stay on.

Everyone over the last few weeks has gone through multiple, rapidly evolving changes in their work and personal lives, which have become intertwined. Daily, we’re using scarcely heard terms like social distancing, personal protective equipment and proper handwashing. Personal thoughts focus on the things of greatest importance: employment, finances and especially, the safety and security of those we love. Decisions are based on immediate priorities as we don’t know what the next day may bring.

For the last few weeks, Nebraska’s energy utilities have been preparing as quickly and efficiently as possible to operate under numerous unknowns. At NPPD, many of my colleagues are now working from home. Others find themselves in facilities filled with empty offices. "Critical" power plant operations and field work are completed only by "essential" District teammates.

Behind the scenes, no part of public power has gone untouched as protocols and contingency plans are created to ensure customers the same reliability they have come to expect. As Nebraskans always do in times of hardship, we have come together for the greater good of our neighbors, customers, friends and family. Whether deemed "essential" or not, all colleagues and industry peers are part of the efficiency that is public power. All are committed to bringing you assurance during this difficult time.

In upcoming months, I’ll continue to share insights on how to make the most value from the electricity we supply. Energy use can be especially concerning to residential customers during times of crisis. While we are fortunately coming out of the heating season, air conditioning costs may soon be a concern.

As during previous crises, products and devices will be advertised claiming incredible energy savings or protection against COVID-19 itself. Some claims will have a degree of credibility. Unfortunately, many will fail to meet our expectations. Southwest Public Power District can provide or connect you with an impartial professional opinion on technologies that promises to decrease your energy use or increase your personal safety and well-being.

Contact Southwest Public Power District early if you anticipate difficulties in meeting your energy needs, as they can advise you on any available support agencies or programs. They can also provide additional information on efficiently managing your energy use.

Southwest Public Power District, in partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, is proud to serve you now and into the future. Visit with them regarding EnergyWiseSM energy efficiency programs to help with the cost of efficiency improvements or visit www.nppd.com.

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