Utilities urge customers to conserve energy during heat wave
By Brigid Beatty
Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 1:26 a.m.
As the heat wave settles in over the region, the drone of fans and air conditioning units seems to make all other summer sounds fade into the background.
Those looking for ways to reduce the incessant hum can still stay cool while conserving energy and reducing costs on summer electric bills.
Central Electric Cooperative announced in a news release Monday that electricity demands peak from noon to 6 p.m.
The utility company, which serves customers in Armstrong, Allegheny, Butler, Clarion, Forest, Mercer and Venango counties, urged people to turn off all nonessential electric items and set air conditioners at a minimum of 78 degrees.
According to the release, conserving energy “helps keep energy costs stable for all members.”
West Penn Power spokesman Todd Meyers said Tuesday that there are no concerns about the availability of electricity.
However, he noted, high temperatures are expected to continue through the week without significant cool-down temperatures in the evenings. That means transformers and substation equipment must be monitored to ensure equipment doesn't overheat.
“So far, there are no problems,” said Meyers, adding that linemen and substation electricians will be available if issues do arise.
West Penn Power, owned by First Energy Corp., is part of a 13-state power grid coordinated by PJM Interconnection — a regional transmission operator.
A heat alert issued by PJM on Tuesday said that the day's peak demand was expected to be about 156,000 megawatts.
“One megawatt of electricity can power a thousand homes,” said Meyers.
He said the all-time high for usage occurred in July 2011, with usage reaching 163,000 megawatts.
“We don't expect this week to be a record breaker,” said Meyers.
In addition to adjusting thermostats, he suggested that people avoid blocking registers with drapery or furniture to allow for optimal central air circulation, keeping drapes or blinds closed during the day and postponing use of dishwashers, clothes dryers and stoves until evening hours.
Not everyone, though, has easy access to cool air, and people can easily succumb to heat-related health issues.
Donna Pacella, executive director of the local chapter of the American Red Cross, said in a news release Tuesday that “excessive heat can cause numerous safety and health issues, including heat stroke and even death.”
The release advised that if someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen due to heat exhaustion, they should be moved to a cooler place, replenish fluids with half a glass of water every 15 minutes, and get some rest. Refusal of water, vomiting or loss of consciousness warrants a 911 call.
According to the Red Cross, people should check on neighbors and family members who don't have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more inclined to be affected by the heat.
Those without air conditioning should seek relief from the heat during the hottest part of the day at cooling places like schools, libraries, theaters and malls.
Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kittanning vigil planned for mother in fatal collision
- Ford City’s A Mano features cuisine ‘by hand’
- 103-year-old resident of Kittanning Care Center celebrates long life
- Rayburn animal shelter in desperate need of new wheels
- $2,000 gifts benefit homeless vets in Armstrong County