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O&R: Frigid Temps Break Weekend Electricity Usage Records

O&R met unprecedented weekend demand for electricity January 6-7 as its customers sought to stay warm indoors during two days of some of the harshest temperatures in recent memory.

O&R set a new record for highest weekend electric sendout on January 6-7 supplying customers with 36,916 MWh. The previous record was 34,881 MWh for January 7-8 in 2006.

Those howling winds and single-digit temperatures broke more electric records this past weekend for:

  • Highest Saturday sendout on January 6 with 18,737 MWh. The previous record was 17,874 MWh on January 22, 2005.
  • Highest Sunday sendout on January 7 with 18,179 MWh. The previous record was set on Dec. 31, 2017 with 17,416.

And, all the folks kept indoors by the brutal weather who were warmed, as well as entertained by electricity, helped O&R break the highest Saturday peak demand record for electricity on January 6 with 906 MW. The previous record was 881 MW on Dec. 19, 2009.

Although this week’s temperatures are expected to moderate, it will still be winter so O&R offers these cold-weather coping tips:

  • Try turning your thermostat down to no higher than 68 degrees when you are not at home. Set the thermostat while you are at home to a reasonable temperature that meets your comfort and health needs.
  • Make sure your thermostat is not affected by drafts that could skew the readings. Use a smart thermostat to automatically change the heating pattern to fit your schedule.
  • Take a moment to turn off any devices or appliances you are not using.
  • Installing weather-stripping at all attic stairwells and access openings provides for tighter insulation.
  • It’s a good idea to stop cold air infiltration from electric switch and plug outlets by using draft blockers.
  • If you open curtains and/or shades of east, south and west-facing windows on sunny winter days, it lets the sun help you heat your home. Close them at sundown. Keep draperies closed all day on north-facing windows.
  • Close all hot air vents or radiators in unused rooms. Then, close the doors to those rooms securely, using draft guards at the door bottoms if necessary. CAUTION: If you have a radiator-hot water system, be sure that the unused room does not get so cold as the temperature falls below freezing.
  • Check all places where heat enters the room. Make sure the draperies and furniture do not block the flow of heat.
  • Use a room or furnace humidifier or keep shallow pans of water on radiator tops or near hot air vents to add humidity to your home.
  • Check the filters on your forced-air furnace every month during the heating season. Replace as necessary.
  • Never use a gas oven or range, or charcoal grill to heat a room. This causes a carbon monoxide danger which could prove fatal.

There are several ways O&R customers can report outages and check service restoration status:

  • Go to from any computer or web-enabled mobile device;
  • Download the O&R Mobile app through the App Store or Google Play Store;
  • Text “OUT” to 69678 (myORU); or
  • Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100