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PROBE: July 3, 2001

July 03, 2001

QUESTION: My husband is 65 and newly retired. I am still working. To save on the electric bill, he won't turn on the air conditioner until noon.

My adult daughter, who lives with us, won't clean or wash clothes because she says it's too hot to work. She calls me at work. They're driving me crazy.

Is it really cheaper to leave the air conditioner off until noon? I asked an air conditioner repairman. He wouldn't tell me. He said he didn't want to get involved.

Is it cheaper to leave the AC off until noon? — AC Miser's Wife, El Centro

It's cheaper but on these really hot days, you may need to keep the unit on all day to protect your health.


IID spokeswoman Sue Giller suggested your husband set the thermostat at 79 degrees. That will save money for most people.

At that temperature the unit probably won't start until 10 or 11 a.m. most days. On real scorchers, it may start earlier.

By the way, if your daughter runs the appliances in the morning, she will save a little money for IID — and that could end up saving us all money.

When IID buys electricity in the morning, it's cheaper than power it buys in the afternoon when the demand for electricity is higher, according to Giller.

When IID pays more, we pay more. Remember the fuel energy factor on your bill. It slides up and down according to what IID pays.

QUESTION: I just moved into the neighborhood west of Pioneers Memorial Hospital off Legion Road in Brawley. I am disappointed with the state of the local parks.

As the weeks go by the sidewalks continue to shrink and the fire hydrants disappear under weeds. The quality of the parks seems to decline.

If the city is going to require developers to build parks, shouldn't the city take proper care of the parks? The parks have become eyesores.

Why do employees fail to pick up the grass they mow, fail to trim the edges of sidewalks, around curbs, trees and other facilities? — Critical, Brawley

We've done this before. Brawley, with 5 acres of park land for every 1,000 residents is park poor.

Although the population has doubled, the city has fewer employees now than it had 25 years ago, according to Karin Morgan, director of the city Parks and Recreation Department.

"I agree we don't do nearly enough weed-eating and edging. None of our lawnmowers have grass catchers. That would be fine if we mowed more often but often there's too much grass laying on the lawns. We do the best we can but we have six guys taking care of 120 acres of parks," she said.

DSL IS HERE — When the Holtville man wanted to know if the digital subscriber line, or DSL, for Internet is anywhere in Imperial County, you said, "not yet."

It is here. I have been installing it for years. It's expensive but we have it at the Imperial Valley Digital Network. We have several large accounts and some small ones. — Techie, Imperial

OK, if you have such a yen for DSL that you can't wait for the big providers, call Allen Earley at 355-0401.

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