As Connecticut faces another sweltering day and people turn up their air conditioners, demand for electricity continues to soar. These conditions can push the electric system to its limit, but Eversource is reminding customers how it prepares to meet increased demand – and offering tips on how to stay cool and save energy.
“During the summer months, demand for electricity increases by 75 percent,” said Steve Gilkey, Eversource Connecticut’s Vice President of Electric Field Operations. “So, we begin preparing for this increased demand before the hot weather arrives by conducting ground and aerial inspections of the overhead electrical system in the cooler months. This way, we can detect any issues in advance and work to ensure reliable service for our customers during these hot summer days. If there are issues, our crews are ready to respond.”
Eversource is currently in the third year of its System Reliability Plan in Connecticut, a five-year major grid modernization project to strengthen its electric delivery system. The project includes installing new and stronger poles, wires and related system equipment as well as year-round tree trimming to reduce tree-related power outages. The company’s work also includes comprehensive ground, aerial and infrared inspections of the electric substations and transmission lines that play a critical role in meeting the increased summertime power needs and system demands.
During these scorching days of summer, Eversource wants customers to know how they can help decrease their monthly energy bills by increasing their energy efficiency efforts with some easy, no-cost and low-cost tips.
Increase the temperature on air conditioners. Keep air conditioners set at a moderate temperature throughout the day. Cranking it up after work uses more electricity. Wise use of programmable thermostats or temperature timers can help keep costs manageable, especially when away from home.
Keep air conditioner filters and coils clean. Clean air conditioner filters and coils at least every three months. Dirty filters block air flow, reducing efficiency and making it harder to deliver the cool air.
Use air conditioning and fans together to keep energy costs low. According to ENERGY STAR®, setting thermostats just two degrees higher than normal on hot days and using ceiling fans for circulation can lower air conditioning costs by up to 14 percent. Turning the ceiling fan blade to the reverse setting creates a downdraft and “wind chill” effect, making the room feel cooler. Since ceiling fans cool only people and not the actual room, remember to turn them off when leaving the area.
Seal home cracks and gaps. Seal cracks or gaps in walls and outlets, and window and door frames, to keep cool air from escaping and letting hot air in. Using clay caulking cord or regular gel caulking makes this an easy D-I-Y project.
Cook dinner outside. Cooking indoors inevitably heats up the kitchen and makes cooling systems work harder, so opt for cooking outdoors instead. Aside from just grilling, today’s gas grills make great ovens, too. A closed grill lid and a properly adjusted temperature can result in a perfectly cooked meal.
Eversource’s energy efficiency expert, Enoch Lenge, offers additional tips on saving energy and money at www.eversource.com.