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EDITORIAL — Cool cash: Beat heat, but save on expenses

Entergy Texas’ delivery this week of 1,300, 20-inch box fans for distribution to the elderly and income limited in Southeast Texas is in character with what many big companies do. There’s no law requiring such benevolence but lots of them do it anyway.

That’s why trucks were delivering fans to Salvation Army centers in Port Arthur, Beaumont and Orange. That’s why they were dropping off fans to city halls in Dayton and Daisetta and to religious-affiliated agencies in Vidor and Winnie, Nederland and Sour Lake and Silsbee — to 31 sites in all.

Some 110 fans were delivered for distribution in Port Arthur, 60 in Nederland. Entergy Texas has been delivering fans since 2001; in all, the company has distributed 21,900 fans since then.

Here’s why: Those on limited or fixed incomes can stretch their dollars and offset the summer heat by using their fans to circulate cool air. Put that thermostat at 78 degrees or higher and turn on the fan to circulate the air — stay cool and get your money’s worth.

“It’s very, very hot,” said Entergy’s Ron Fletcher, standing in the shade outside the Salvation in Port Arthur. “The timing makes it very important to get these fans to the customers.”

SA volunteers said that those who seek free fans must show state-issued ID and bring a utility bill to claim their donated gift. That’s fair enough.

Richard Sessions, who is director of the Port Arthur Salvation Army Service Center, 4601 Rice Farm Road, said the fans would likely be distributed by the end of the week. There’s some demand, and it rises with the temperature.

Entergy brought not only fans but some suggestions. Here are some worthy ones:

  • Set your thermostat at 78 or more.
  • Get your air-conditioner inspected to ensure the system is leak-free and operating efficiently.
  • Change air filters regularly. Some units require monthly cleaning or replacing.
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Close blinds, shades and curtains to keep the sun out and the cool air in.
  • Close air-conditioning vents in rooms that are not in use.
  • Seal cracks and holes around doors, windows and ductwork.
  • Use weather stripping and caulk to keep the heat from seeping inside.
  • Turn down water heaters to 120 degrees.
  • Wash clothes with cold water, when possible.
  • Use toaster ovens or crockpots to prevent heating up your house with an oven.
  • Use lower wattage bulbs or LED bulbs to save energy.

That’s a lot to wrap your arms around. But for the elderly and for those of limited means, it addresses these two needs: staying cool and saving money.

We applaud Entergy Texas’ efforts on behalf of those who need it. Through this effort, the company is there for those who need help.

Well done.