O&R Declares Heat Watch for Today, Advises Prudent Power Use

Because of the continuing sweltering heat and steamy humidity, O&R today declared a Heat Watch for today, Monday, July 18.

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

Today’s O&R electricity demand is expected to peak at 1,350 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 today, at least, to most efficiently use electricity.

The top tip is a simple one: 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.

Watch your e-mail for a special brief survey from O&R. The survey will be conducted this summer on very hot days when electric use is at its peak. That information is yet another way for O&R to help make sure that the electric system keeps pace with demand and remains reliable. Please take the survey within 12 hours of receiving the e-mail invitation so that you provide the most accurate and timely information for the day. 

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For more energy tips, please visit O&R’s website at www.oru.com.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status through:

  • at www.oru.com 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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