Extreme heat to increase demand on power

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH)–Just listen, and you may hear a familiar sound of summer. It’s the hum of air conditioners which are expected to be blowing full blast as the extreme heat settles in.

“For some reason it just helps me sleep at night and keeps me cool,” said Zak Mitchell of Norwich.

Norwich Public Utilities says there shouldn’t be any power shortages or so-called brown outs, but there could be an added strain on the system.

Norwich Public Utilities truck

“If you’ve got higher demand you could run into issues with your equipment on a substation or a transmission distribution line or a transformer in a neighborhood,” said Chris Riley, spokesperson for Norwich Public Utilities.

NPU has made sure it has the right material and equipment in place and crews are ready to roll in case of emergency.

“If you’ve got a window unit don’t leave it on if no one’s home and if you have central air, 72 or 73 is probably a safe threshold for a thermostat setting,” said Riley.

NPU says consider using major appliances like dishwashers and clothes dryers after dark and minimize the use of heat generating devices like flat irons, hair dryers, and televisions during the day.

“The peak demand for us is typically between 4:00 and 7:30 or 8:00 at night,” said Riley.

Also grill outside instead of turning on the oven.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that only about 10 to 15 percent of the electricity traditional incandescent light bulbs use turns into light. The rest is heat.

That may be another reason to go energy efficient.

News 8 went to the Norwich Fire Department to use one of its thermal imaging cameras to take a look at the heat coming from different types of light bulbs.

The incandescent bulb got as hot as 132 degrees while the LED stayed at a cooler 75. The CFL bulb was hottest at 149 degrees.

Riley says fortunately this heat wave falls on the weekend when demand is usually lowest because many businesses are closed.

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