JAMESTOWN — With temperatures pushing into the 90s, peak use of electrical power soars occurs, driving up bills and straining delivery systems.
With that in mind, Ken Kujawa, regional director with National Grid, discussed usage and energy saving tips with WNYNewsNow.
“As customers load onto the system, especially cooling load, which is running air conditioning and running pool pumps, those two factors start to drive up demand on our delivery system,” he said.
Increased use pushes load levels closer to peak capacity levels, straining the delivery system, he explained.
Kujawa asked customers to curtail usage when ever possible. Two easy steps to take to reduce use, are really fairly simple, he said.
“The easiest thing that you can do, and it’s not going to cost you anything or cause you discomfort is draw your curtains and close your blinds during the middle part of the day,” he said. This keeps the sun’s mid-day heat from entering rooms and hallways.
In addition, he said people can run their air conditioning in the early evening when outside temperatures begin to cool.
While COVID-19 issues have lessened commercial and manufacturing demands, residential use remains high and, in part, is because people who work from home tend to use more electricity by running the air conditioner, loading the dishwasher or doing laundry, he said.
What we’ve seen happening, we’re seeing more load on our distribution system, which serves our residential customers because people are working from home,” Kujawa said.
He said people can raise their thermostat levels from 68 to 71 and “It still should be comfortable enough that you should be okay in your home.”
Cooperation and common sense seem to be the hallmarks of beating the heat without crushing the delivery system or driving up current bills, he explained.
“We appreciate any help they (customers) can provide us. Our customers are usually great when we put out these appeals,” Kujawa said, adding he can see usage rates decline in real time as customers respond.
We just need to get through these next couple of days and if everyone is smart about their energy use we should get through this,” he said.