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2009-08-13 digital edition

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2009-08-13 / General Stories

Bluebonnet Sets Record for All-Time High Power Purchased for One Month

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative purchased 211.9 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from its wholesale power provider in July 2009, indicating a recordhigh consumption for the cooperative's members. The record-setting July purchase blew right by the all-time high of 198.9 million kWh purchased in August 2008 and far exceeded the 186.9 million kWh total of July 2008.

"August-like temperatures in July led to a record month, and brought kilowatt usage to an alltime high for Bluebonnet," said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative General Manager. "Unfortunately, high temperatures mean more electricity usage and higher bills for our members."

Bluebonnet's all-time record for power purchased was the result of unusually hot and dry July in central Texas. Using data from Austin's Camp Mabry climate site, there were 26 days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees. The average daily temperature was 89.5 degrees, which is 5.3 degrees above normal. This was not only the hottest July on record, but also the hottest month ever recorded in records dating back to 1854.

"The average high temperature for July was 102.0 degrees, that is seven degrees above normal," said Lower Colorado River Authority Meteorologist Bob Rose. "The average low temperature for the month was 76.9 degrees, which just breaks the record for the warmest average minimum July temperature of 76.7 degrees in 1998. The record high temperatures and the very warm nighttime temperatures contributed to the all-time warmest month on record."

Forecasts for August and September call for continued hot and mostly dry weather, similar to July with an average temperature averaging about four to five degrees above normal, according to Bob Rose. There will be some rain from time to time, but totals will be below normal.

"With more hot summer months ahead of us, it is more important than ever for our members to conserve energy and manage costs," Mark Rose said. "Simple steps can lead to substantial savings on residential and commercial electric bills. Bluebonnet offers the HomeEnergySuite, a set of online tools on our Web site, designed to help our members get their homes as energy efficient as possible, allowing them to save money on their electric bills. We are truly trying to find ways to help members help themselves save energy and money."

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of the largest electric cooperatives in Texas and has been serving its members since 1939. Bluebonnet serves 80,000 meters and owns and maintains 11,000 miles of power lines, located across more than 3,800 square miles within 14 Central Texas counties. Bluebonnet's service area stretches from Travis County to Washington County and from Milam County down to Gonzales County.

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