Energy saving efforts in Barnesville have some people steamed

Barnesville, MN water tower
Barnesville, MN water tower(KVLY)
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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BARNESVILLE, M.N. (Valley News Live) - At least one family in Barnesville, MN went without hot water during parts of the holiday weekend. A father went to give his three kids a bath on January 2 when he realized there wasn’t any hot water.

He wrote into VNL’s Whistleblower Hotline asking why the City of Barnesville turned off the hot water heaters. The city’s utility manager said it’s part of living in Barnesville.

“It’s about keeping the rates down,” explained Guy Swenson, Barnesville’s utility manager.

The city controls the amount of energy used, and when it hits a threshold of usage, they have to cut back on power.

“It could potentially be off and on and off and on like we had this weekend,” said Swenson.

He said the automated system will go from 45 minutes off to 15 minutes on until the usage gets below the threshold again. There is not a notification system in place to let residents know when the conservation efforts go into effect, however, they do use Facebook to inform the public. When the system kicks in Swenson suggests staggering energy usage, and conserving as much hot water as possible.

“It’s saving them a lot of money in the long run,” he explained.

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