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Kansans know summer weather usually arrives before June 21, the official beginning of summer. So far this year, the summer weather season has been milder than the same time a year ago. According to the National Weather Service, there were 10 days in June 2022 with temperatures of 100 degrees or more in the Dodge City area — including one day that reached 106 degrees. July and August were even hotter, with sustained heat and persistent drought. In June 2023, the Dodge City area saw highs mostly in the 70s and 80s. 

Although we can’t predict how hot summer 2023 will get, it is likely your energy use will climb in the next few months. However, there are several steps you can take to help keep your summer energy costs in check.

Even when you do not adjust your thermostat much from one month to the next, your energy use may vary considerably because of fluctuations in the outside temperature. For example, when it’s 104 degrees outside, your air conditioner has to work harder and run longer to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature than it does when the outdoor temperature is only 84 degrees. The greater the difference between the outdoor temperature and your indoor temperature setting, the higher the electric use for cooling your home will be.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your air conditioner at the highest temperature possible for your comfort. Ceiling fans can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler, enabling homeowners to raise the thermostat a few degrees and still feel comfortable.

Smart products
Smart thermostats give homeowners the ability to adjust temperature settings from anywhere through a mobile phone, tablet or computer. They can also be programmed to adjust the temperature of your home automatically based on your schedule and lifestyle. 

If you’re shopping for new appliances, look for the Energy Star rating on refrigerators, washers, dishwashers and dryers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers Energy Star, an energy-efficiency certification program that helps consumers “lower energy bills, improve comfort and reduce emissions.”

Replacing incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs can cut your energy bill too. Energy Star LED bulbs produce 70% to 90% less heat than standard bulbs and use up to 90% less energy, according to the DOE. 

Some devices continue to draw energy even when they are off but still in standby mode. Smart power strips have sensors to detect when devices aren’t being used so that the power can automatically be cut off.

Smart habits

Small changes can add up to significant cost savings. Here are a few smart energy habits to try this summer.

  • Cooking with a microwave, air fryer or slow cooker uses less energy than your oven, which also raises the temperature inside your home. Use smaller cooking appliances for some of your summer meals, or head outside and use the grill. You don’t need a holiday or weekend to have a cookout!
  • Instead of using your dryer for every load, consider using a clothesline and letting the sun dry your clothes. 
  • Run full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine, which saves water as well as energy. Almost 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes toward heating the water, so use cold or warm water cycles when possible.
  • Check the air filter regularly and change it if needed to keep your air conditioner running efficiently. 
  • Add weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors to keep cold air inside. Also seal gaps around piping, dryer vents, fans and outlets to prevent air leaks.

Smart management
Monitor your energy usage regularly to check for trends and help you make informed decisions. Victory Electric’s SmartHub application, available at, provides digital tools that let you analyze your current and past energy usage and set targets for the future. 

You can compare your electrical usage, charges and weather temperature variations for different time periods to note seasonal or behavioral changes in how you use energy. You can also set up an energy threshold and budget gauge, then receive notifications when your energy use exceeds the limits you set. 

For more information about energy efficiency and SmartHub, visit For questions or concerns about your bill or electric usage, please call 620-227-2139. If you have other questions about energy that you would like to see covered, please send them to