Nothing quite gets you down on a hot summer day like a rolling blackout. We've been lucky thus far in the summer of 2013, temperatures have been relatively low. Still, the dog days of summer have yet to come, and some question whether the electricity generation grid is going to be able to keep up with the demand this year.

While the weather is certainly out of our control, there are actions you can take that can help prevent rolling blackouts from affecting us this year. Remember some of these tips, and do you part to keep everyone's lights on this summer!

1. Turn up your air conditioning

Sure it's hot outside and not running the air conditioning at all can leave things on the uncomfortable side, but realistically if everyone raised their thermostats by 2 degrees each we could collectively save a whole lot of energy.

Installing either a programmable or smart thermostat is an easy way to keep your air conditioning in check when no one is home. Plus, there are other ways to keep cool. With a nice cold glass of iced tea, you won't even notice the difference 2 degrees makes in your home!

2. Shut down and unplug electronics when you're not using them

Do you know how much energy your electronics are using when you've turned them "off?" Today's electronics are more efficient than those of just a few years ago, but most household gadgets still consume a surprising amount of electricity even when they're not in use. That vampire energy consumption can really add up, particularly if you have older tech toys around the house.

One way to make sure these devices can't use power when you're not intending them to to is to hook them up through a power strip. With one flick of the switch you'll cut off their energy supply for sure.

3. Wait to run your appliances after dark

This simple action can help prevent overloading of the system. Our major household appliances are some of the biggest energy consumers in our homes. Plus there are ancillary benefits to planning to do your energy-heavy chores after the sun has gone down. For one thing you can cut down on the residual heat being expelled in your home. And if you have a time-of-use rate structure, you'll also pay less money to run the appliances.

One further tip that goes along with all major appliances – make them as efficient as possible. Don't run small loads in your washing machine or your dishwasher. You'll consume the same amount of electricity while cleaning a smaller than capacity amount of clothes or dishes.

Above all, work together

If we all pitch in and make a few reasonable sacrifices this summer, we might be able to prevent anyone from having to go without power. Now that's something we can all get behind.

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