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Today's O&R Power Demand Peak Highest Ever for a Saturday; Heat Alert Continues Sunday, Wise Elecrtricity Use Urged

O&R today set an all-time record for electric demand for a Saturday with a peak demand of 1,411 megawatts at 6 p.m. as the Company extended its Heat Alert into Sunday, urging its customers to show restraint in their electricity use. 

The previous highest Saturday electric demand day was Aug. 13, 2005 with 1,409 megawatts of demand. The all-time highest demand day in O&R history was August 2, 2006 when the company recorded 1,617 megawatts of demand on its electric system.

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

The Company’s electric-use forecast for Sunday predicts demand to peak at 1,375 megawatts, which would rank it as the highest Sunday demand peak in O&R’s history. The previous Sunday record was set on July 7, 2013 with 1,355 megawatts of demand.

The all-time peak demand records encompass seven days of system activity. Weekday usage profiles are typically higher than weekend demand profiles, chiefly because office building lighting and air conditioning systems are usually shut off over the weekend.

Usage records for Saturday and Sunday also are kept because the demand profiles on weekend days are distinctly different than each other with Sunday’s usage generally lower than Saturday’s.

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’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.

Through today’s Heat Alert, O&R field crews are focused on emergency response work. Additional O&R crews and supplemental crews from other utilities are working today.

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

Spot checks have been made through the day of potentially high-load circuits and transformers were pre-loaded on trucks at O&R operations centers to expedite their placement in the field as needed. O&R also instituted load reduction measures at its own facilities.

O&R advises its customers to take steps through Monday, 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.