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O&R Posts Heat Watch for Monday, Advises Prudent Power Use

O&R has declared a Heat Watch for today, Monday, Aug. 15, still advising its customers to continue to use electricity wisely.

Today’s Heat Watch is the result of O&R downgrading its Heat Alert from the weekend.  Although somewhat diminished from the weekend’s sizzling heat and sweltering humidity, today’s sultry weather is expected to continue to drive air conditioning use up higher than normal. 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 predicted to peak at 1,400 megawatts. O&R’s all-time electric demand record is 1,617 megawatts which was set on August 2, 2006.

Over this past weekend, O&R broke its all-time Saturday demand record as demand peaked Saturday at 1,411 megawatts. The previous Saturday record had been 1,409 megawatts set on Aug. 13, 2005.

Yesterday, O&R also recorded its second highest electric demand for a Sunday ever with a peak demand of 1,353 megawatts, just short of the all-time Sunday record of 1,355 megawatts.

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’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.

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. 

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

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.
  • 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.
  • Make sure all doors and windows in your home are closed while the air conditioning is running. You don’t want to pay to air condition the street.
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • at 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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