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O&R Continues Heat Watch for Thursday, Advises Wise Power Use

This week’s increasingly hot and humid weather forecast has prompted O&R to post a second consecutive Heat Watch — this time for Thursday, July 7.

The rising heat and humidity are expected to continue to drive air conditioning use up. That increase is predicted to push demand for electricity Thursday on the O&R system past 1,300 megawatts, triggering a Heat Watch.

Thursday’s O&R electricity demand is expected to peak at 1,387 megawatts. Today’s Heat Watch electricity demand is expected to peak at 1,366 megawatts. O&R’s all-time electric demand record is 1,617 megawatts which was set on August 2, 2006.

The Heat Watch advisory means that electric distribution system engineers will be closely monitoring the loads on distribution circuits, transformer banks and other key system components to detect any heat-related issues so any concerns are addressed quickly. Field crews will be at the ready to respond to any electric system problems as well.

O&R advises its customers to take steps through Wednesday, and most likely through Friday this week, at least, to most efficiently use electricity.

The top tip is a simple one: you should turn down or turn off air conditioning in empty homes while you are away or at work.

Install a timer or clock thermostat on your air conditioner so you can program it to operate during pre-determined hours. That saves you from running the air conditioning all day to cool empty rooms, but makes sure it's timed to turn on and cool your home in plenty of time for your return.

Here are some 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.
  • Plan cooking, baking or other household activities that produce heat and humidity for the cooler times of the day and night.
  • Use a portable or ceiling fan to circulate the pre-cooled air in your air conditioned home. A fan uses about 90 percent less energy than an air conditioner.
  • In very humid weather, 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.
  • As the sun moves from east to west during the day, pull your curtains and shades on windows to block out the heat.
  • In the refrigerator, cover liquid items. They give off humidity that forces the refrigerator to use more energy.
  • Also in the refrigerator, place the most used items in one place so that the door will be open for a shorter period of time.

For more energy tips, please visit O&R's website at

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status through:

  • from any computer or web-based mobile device.
  • O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device
  • Text messaging by texting "OUT" to 69678 (myORU) or
  • Call 1-877-434-4100.

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