When it’s extremely hot, energy-efficiency experts say even just raising your thermostat a degree or two during certain times can help reduce grid demand. (Adobe Stock)

BISMARCK, N.D. (PNS) – It’s been tempting for North Dakota residents to blast their air conditioners during the early-summer heat wave.

With hot and sticky weather still forecast, energy-efficiency advocates urge moderation to allow the lights to stay on for everybody. Record high temperatures have been set around the region in recent days, and some areas could see a few more hot days over the next week. Cooling your home is necessary, but groups such as the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance say there are actions you can take to protect others and the environment.

The Alliance’s Molly Graham says a lot of it comes down to timing.

Experts say doing some of these tasks during non-peak times can help. Other tips include keeping your blinds closed, and adjusting the air-conditioner setting for when you’re not home.

Graham says this helps to prevent rolling blackouts, such as the ones North Dakota saw during extreme weather events this past winter. Other advocates say it reduces your home’s carbon footprint.

University of Michigan researchers say residential energy use accounts for roughly 20-percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Meanwhile, Graham says reducing grid demand protects vulnerable populations from dealing with an energy emergency.

She says low-income residents and communities of color often shoulder the energy burden because they lack the means to make their homes more efficient. As for protecting the grid, she notes Midwestern states have stepped up modernization efforts to hopefully make the infrastructure more resilient.

But she says there’s emerging technology such as micro-grids that still need to be adopted to make the system even stronger.