Fairhope residents being asked to reduce energy usage, other changes because of the heat

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – The City of Fairhope is asking its residents to reduce Water and Electric usage due to the current heat wave. Below is a post on the City of Fairhope’s Facebook page detailing potential restrictions and utility usage concerns.

The City of Fairhope is asking its residence to reduce Water and Electric usage due to the current heat wave. Below is a post on the City of Fairhope Facebook page detailing potential restrictions and usage concerns.

Fairhope Public Utilities has announced several important updates for Water and Electric customers

Due to the unprecedented heat, rising energy costs across all disciplines and a period of significant dry weather, a few changes will need to be made by customers beginning immediately.

“At this time, the Fairhope water system is averaging 1 million more gallons of water per day than a year ago at this time,” said Mayor Sherry Sullivan. “For reference, on June 14th, 2021, the system pumped 7,421,000 gallons compared to the June 14th, 2022, rate of 8,276,000 gallons pumped. The system’s current capacity for service is just over 9 million gallons.”

Fairhope’s water conservation ordinance, which was adopted in May 2020, outlines three phases of water conservation response, and officials are now implementing the voluntary and highly encouraged Phase I of this plan.

Phase I, which is implemented when demand reaches an average of 80 percent capacity over 7 consecutive days, states that all customers who use Fairhope Utilities water are encouraged to limit the amount of water used to what is only necessary for health, business and outdoor use.

To this end, beginning Monday, June 20th, the splash pad at Fairhopers Community Park will be turned off for the day to allow for maintenance and enable the Water Department to evaluate the consumption of water. As of now, the splash pad will reopen on Tuesday but may have reduced hours.

“All water customers are respectfully asked to comply with the Phase I restrictions,” Sullivan said. “Compliance will help determine how the system moves forward in the coming weeks.”

If the demand does not improve, the Fairhope City Council can declare a water emergency and the remaining implemented phases will be mandatory.

The earliest this could happen is June 27th unless drastic improvement is made. Phases II and II require mandatory compliance for landscaping irrigation, filling of swimming pools, washing of driveways and more.

If implemented, Phase II and III restrictions will be in effect until lifted by the City Council or until demand is at or below 100% of capacity for 7 days.

For Electric customers, the increased energy usage as a result of 100+ degree weather we have been and are expected to continue to see will affect bills. To this end, customers are asked to reduce energy usage from 1-7 p.m. each day by making wise energy choices.

Some suggested tactics include bumping up the air conditioner temperature by 4-5 degrees, using ceiling fans, replacing air filters, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, and keeping curtains and blinds closed during the peak hours of the day.

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