NPU issues Power Alert for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week

Utility urges voluntary energy conservation measures for the next three days

June 18, 2024

Norwich – With very high temperatures likely along the East Coast and much of Connecticut this week, Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) has issued a Power Alert and is encouraging its customers to voluntarily conserve energy for the next three days.

“We are encouraging our customers to be smart about how they use energy to stay comfortable over the next three days,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager at NPU. “By using less energy – carefully – we’ll experience less impact on our equipment which helps with our reliability. At the same time, they’ll also save on their next bill.”

NPU expects to see very high demand for electricity through the end of the week and is urging customers to use electricity wisely in the days ahead for two important reasons.

First, a portion of NPU’s annual costs for electricity are tied to ‘peak demand’ days, which are based on forecasts from ISO-New England, that could take place on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday this week. By using energy efficiently for the next few days, customers can help keep overall electric costs – for NPU and themselves – lower throughout the year.

Second, by thinking more about electricity use, the overall impact on NPU’s infrastructure – transmission lines, distribution lines, and transformers – will be minimized. By reducing the ‘wear and tear’ on NPU’s system over the next couple of days, this critical equipment will be able to cool down faster in the early evening hours and overnight, helping improve overall reliability.

“The weather this week can be just as dangerous as a winter storm – so we’re asking our customers to keep an eye out on their friends and neighbors, especially the elderly,” said LaRose. “Public health and public safety go hand in hand, particularly during a heat wave.”

NPU is requesting that customers consider taking simple steps today and this week to conserve electricity that will have little or no impact on their comfort. These tips include:

  • Be smart about using an air conditioner. Only run a window unit when someone is home; NPU recommends setting a central AC system to 72 degrees or higher.
  • Consider waiting until after 8:00 pm to use major appliances like a dishwasher or clothes dryer.
  • Minimize the use of appliances or devices that generate heat before 8:00 pm – computers, curling irons, hairdryers, and televisions can all add to the heat in your home.
  • Avoid using the oven to cook and consider using a stove, microwave, or grilling outside.
  • Install energy-efficient lighting that runs much cooler than traditional lighting. Only about 10-15% of the electricity that incandescent lights use results in light – the rest is turned to heat.
  • Keep the sun out of your home by installing window coverings to minimize the heat coming into a home or business.