O&R Upgrades to Heat Alert Friday, Urges Wise Electric Use

Because of the blazing temperatures and steamy humidity forecast for tomorrow, O&R has upgraded its operational status from a Heat Watch to a Heat Alert for Friday, August 12, and urges its customers to use their air conditioning and other electrical appliances wisely tomorrow.

The continued sizzling heat and stifling humidity are driving exceptionally heavy air conditioning use and its accompanying high electricity demand.

The Company’s electric-use forecast for Friday predicts demand to peak at 1,515 megawatts. O&R’s current all-time, electric demand peak record is 1,617 megawatts which was set on August 2, 2006.

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.      

O&R urges its customers to take steps to most efficiently use electricity Friday, including turning down or turning off air conditioning in empty homes while you are away or at work. When using your room air conditioner, close doors to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.

Tomorrow, O&R field crews will be focusing primarily on emergency work, with scheduled work being performed as system conditions permit.

O&R engineers and system operators will be closely monitoring the loads on distribution circuits, transformer banks and other key system components to detect any heat-related issues.

Spot checks will be made of potentially high-load circuits and transformers will be pre-loaded on trucks at O&R operations centers to expedite their placement in the field if needed. O&R also will institute load reduction measures at its own facilities.

O&R advises its customers to take steps through Friday, at least, to most efficiently use electricity. 

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.

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.  

To help prevent power problems Friday, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.#### *For more energy tips, please visit our 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
  • 1-877-434-4100.