O&R: Heat Alert Remains in Effect Through Today, Sunday; Urges Customers to Exercise Restraint in Electricity Use

O&R's Heat Alert remains in effect today through Sunday, and O&R urges its customers to exercise restraint in using their air conditioning and other electrical appliances through that period.

The tropical, simmering heat and oppressive, stifling humidity are driving exceptionally heavy air conditioning use and its accompanying high electricity demand.

O&R’s message to use electricity wisely focuses on two customer concerns:

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.

The Company's electric-use forecast for today predicts demand to peak at 1,312 megawatts, which would rank it as the fifth highest Saturday demand peak in O&R’s history. 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. The Heat Alert declarations for today and Sunday are based on the predictions of the heat index both days exceeding 100.

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.

Today and through the weekend Heat Alert, O&R field crews will be focusing primarily on emergency response work. And, additional crews will be working during the weekend.

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 Sunday, at least, to most efficiently use electricity.

To help prevent power problems, please use electricity wisely. Here are some other tips that will help you weather the heat:

  • 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.

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.