City of Akron, Heartland mark Public Power Week with energy saving tips

Posted October 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

The City of Akron and their wholesale power provider, Heartland Consumers Power District, will be celebrating Public Power Week: Oct. 6 – 12.

Akron is one of more than 2,000 public power utilities across the nation, collectively serving more than 47 million Americans with reliable electricity.

“As a public power provider, Akron’s electric department offers unique economic, social and environmental benefits to its residents and businesses,” said Russell Olson, general manager of Heartland. “The utility is a valuable community asset that, in addition to reliable power, provides dedicated customer service.”

Public Power Week is a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association, the service organization for community- and state-owned electric utilities.

Public power has many distinct characteristics that benefit consumers and contribute to community progress. Utilities like Akron’s operate on a not-for-profit basis and are governed by locally elected officials, providing local accountability and the opportunity for public input. Akron’s electric department is driven by public service, not profit, allowing the city to offer affordable rates.

“Public Power Week is a chance to celebrate the advantages of public power and remind consumers of the important role the utility plays in the community,” added Olson. “Public power utilities are community-owned, which means residents of Akron are included in the decision-making process. Perhaps the greatest benefit of public power is this local control.”

As part of the week’s celebration, the city of Akron and Heartland would like to offer customers the following energy saving tips:

• During winter months, close curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.

• Select energy efficient office equipment and turn off machines when not in use. Set your computer to enter sleep mode after a period of non-use.

• Switch to cold water washing of laundry in an energy efficient washing machine. Detergents formulated for cold water get clothes just as clean. Switching from hot to cold can cut a load’s energy use in half.

• Caulk and weather strip windows and doors that leak air. Caulk and seal air leaks where plumping, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings and soffits over cabinets.

• Switch out your old incandescent light bulbs for Energy Star qualified LED bulbs. They use 75 percent less energy and last up to 25 times longer.

The city of Akron partnered with Heartland in 2012 to begin offering energy efficiency incentives to help customers use energy more wisely and lower their electric bills.

The city offers rebates to residential customers for replacing certain appliances with new, Energy Star models and for purchasing Energy Star qualified air-source heat pumps, central air conditioners and geothermal heat pumps.

Commercial customers who upgrade to efficient lighting are also eligible for rebates.

Visit Heartland’s energy efficiency website at for more information.

About Heartland

Heartland Consumers Power District is a non-profit, public power utility created in 1969 by the state of South Dakota. Heartland provides low-cost, reliable power as well as energy services and community development programs to communities, state agencies and organizations in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Heartland’s board of directors functions in the best interest of Heartland’s customers and emphasizes reliable and economical generation and delivery systems.

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