Orange & Rockland Utilities issued a Heat Watch for Monday, July 16 due to high temperatures forecast for that day.
O&R is expecting a high electricity demand due to heavy use of air conditioning, projecting the 1,376 megawatts. A forecast for over 1,300 megawatts puts O&R in a Heat Watch.
During a Heat Watch, O&R crews focus primarily on emergencies and put a lower priority on regular system work. Part of that is watching the load on distribution circuits and identifying heat-related issues as soon as possible.
O&R urges customers to be as efficient as possible. This includes suggestions such as turning off air conditioning while they are away from home and closing doors to keep cool air in.
Other energy conservation tips from O&R include:
- Set the thermostat of your central air conditioner at 78 degrees F or higher to achieve maximum savings on your cooling costs. Setting the room temperature on the air conditioner at 75 degrees costs about 15 percent more. A 72-degree setting costs about 30 percent more than the 78-degree setting.
- If you have a room air conditioner, close off the rooms not being used; if you have central air, block off the vents for unused rooms.
- 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.
- 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.
O&R also offered these suggestions for refrigerator use:
- Maintain a constant temperature in the refrigerator of between 36 and 38 degrees for maximum effectiveness. The freezer should be kept at 15 degrees.
- 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.
Customers who experience electrical service interruptions can call O&R at 1-877-434-4100.