Temperatures have been over or close to 100 degrees for weeks. "We are trying to do whatever we can to kind of minimize the affects of it, especially on our electric bill," said Omaha Public Power District customer Paula Lukowski.
Dave Swett works in OPPD's customer service department, specializing in heating, air conditioning and building science. He says Lukowski's home is perfect to demonstrate ways people can conserve energy, even with this intense heat.
Swett began with the outdoor air conditioning unit itself. "This is also a huge energy saver. This being dirty adds a substantial amount to the operating costs of any air conditioner."
Even shutting the blinds can help. "Light is coming in and that adds solar load inside the home that your air conditioner has to remove. So if you can keep those drawn throughout the day, that's a good thing."
Lukowski says her family has become devoted to improving their energy conservation. They don't open the refrigerator as much. "Because every time you open the door you're letting energy escape."
She even wakes up early or stays up late to do chores. "We are trying to do things at different hours of the day, so this way it doesn't cause as much pressure on the electrical system."
They've also switched to salads instead of using the oven for dinner. These changes may seem like sacrifices to some, but worth it for the Lukowskis.