Heat Wave Electric Use Sets Hudson Valley Record
On a day where temperatures were near 100 degrees, and a real-feel of 115, Orange and Rockland Utilities announced an all-time record for electric demand was set on Saturday with a peak demand of 1,411 megawatts at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, another day above 90 degrees saw a peak demand of 1,353 megawatts as of 5 p.m., which was the second highest electric demand for a Sunday.
The tropical heat and oppressive humidity drove exceptionally heavy air conditioning use which resulted in a high electricity demand.
Orange and Rockland released a number of tips to help save electricity which will also save you money:
Prudent individual customer electricity use:
• Diminishes electric system demand and helps support service reliability. Every bit helps to keep the system running at an optimal level.
• Helps control individual customer electric costs. Customer electric use drives bills. The more you use, the more you pay.
• O&R declares a Heat Alert if the electric demand is predicted to peak over 1,500 megawatts for the day or if the heat index is forecasted to reach over 100 degrees for two days or more. The Heat Alert declarations for Saturday and Sunday meet that criteria.
O&R’s top, hot-weather energy tip is a simple one: turn down or turn off air conditioning in empty homes while you are away or at work.
To help prevent power problems please use electricity wisely. Here are some other tips that will help you weather the heat during these steamy days:
• Set your air conditioner to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree you lower the thermostat drives your bill up by 6 percent.
• Install a timer or clock thermostat on your air conditioner so you can program it to operate and shut-off at pre-determined hours so you won’t be running the air conditioning all day in an empty house.
• If you have a room air-conditioning unit, close off the rooms not being used.
• Adjust your air conditioner’s fan to a low setting. It’ll take longer for the air conditioner to cool your home, but your unit will bring in steamy air at a slower rate and make you feel more comfortable.
• Plan cooking, baking or other household activities that produce heat and humidity for the cooler times of the day and night.
• As the sun moves from east to west during the day, pull your curtains and shades on windows to block out the heat.
The refrigerator is one of the largest energy-using appliances in the typical home:
• Cover liquid items. They give off humidity that forces the refrigerator to use more energy.
• Place the most used items in one place so that the door will be open for a shorter period of time.