As the temperatures rise and the air conditioners roar to life, demand increases on the electrical system that serves the region. Here are tips to reduce your consumption during the summer swelter.
- During daylight hours, turn off unnecessary lights and close the curtains or shades to reduce the penetration of heat into the home.
- Make sure air-conditioner filters are clean and debris has been removed. Turn off air conditioners when leaving home for an extended period.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you’re not in the room.
- Set your thermostat to a slightly warmer temperature if health permits. A suggested range is 74 to 78 degrees, according to ISO-New England.
- On cool nights, give the air conditioner a break and open windows.
- Whenever possible, delay using major appliances such as pool pumps, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers until after 8 p.m.
- Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
This summer, the available supply of power, combined with curtailment measures, should be sufficient to meet customer demand even during extreme weather conditions, according to a forecast issued earlier this year by ISO-New England, the operator of the New England power transmission grid.
However, during periods of extreme demand, the ISO may issue appeals asking customers to conserve energy to reduce the strain on the power grid.
A Power Watch is a request to all customers to voluntarily reduce their usage. Customers can help by minimizing the use of air conditioners, turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances and doing laundry in the late evening or early morning hours. Businesses can help by shutting off unnecessary lights and office equipment, such as computers, when not in use.
A Power Warning is a more urgent appeal that is issued when electricity supplies are extremely tight, and there is concern that electric utilities may have to disconnect certain customers as a means of reducing demand on the grid. Customers are urged to reduce usage throughout the day, both at home and at work, including turning off unnecessary lights, equipment, and appliances, and minimizing the use of air conditioning. Before leaving home, customers should make sure all unnecessary electrical appliances are turned off. However, officials stress that customers who require air conditioning and other electrical appliances for health and safety reasons should not restrict their use.