O&R Posts Heat Watch Through Thursday, Advises Wise Power Use

This week's forecast for sweltering temperatures and steamy humidity, with its promise of accompanying heavy air conditioning use and resulting high electricity demand, has prompted O&R to issue a Heat Watch for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The simmering heat and sticky humidity are expected to push the O&R electric system past 1,300 megawatts, triggering the Heat Watch status. O&R’s forecasts predict that electricity demand will exceed 1300 megawatts on Wednesday (1,407 mW) and Thursday (1,362 mW). On Tuesday, the forecast calls for an O&R electric system demand of over 1,300 mW as well.

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 Thursday at least to most efficiently use electricity, including turning down or turning off air conditioning in empty homes while they are away or at work. When using a room air conditioner, customers should close doors to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.

Install a timer or clock thermostat on your air conditioner so you can program it to operate and shut-off at pre-determined hours. That cools your home in plenty of time for your return but saves you from running it all day to cool empty rooms.

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. O&R is interested in knowing more about how and when its customers use electricity during that time. 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 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.

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**For more energy tips, please visit O&R's website at (www.oru.com).

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status through:**

* (www.oru.com) from any computer or web-based mobile device
* the O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device
* text messaging by texting “OUT” to 69678 (myORU) or
* Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100