NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – As the extreme temperatures continue to rise the rest of the week, air conditioners and fans will be working overtime. That means extra demand on the power grid and higher charges on your electric bill. 

Eversource says customers, on average, use 35% more energy during the summer months.  

“I worry about how high my bill can get because of the air conditioning, it can really increase,” said Braheem Wahid from Meriden. 

With temperatures in the 90s this week, ACs will be blasting. But setting your temperature lower will wind up costing you more. 

Eversource has tips to lower your electric bill: 

  • Keep air conditioners set at a moderate temperature. For every degree higher on your thermostat, your AC will use 1% – 3% less electricity.
  • Keep blinds closed to prevent unwanted heat from entering your home.
  • Set ceiling fans to rotate counter-clockwise which will create a cooling, wind chill effect.
  • Cook dinner outside, as cooking heats up the kitchen.
  • Use a clothesline. Dryers need to produce a lot of heat to dry clothes. This heat can become a problem during the summer. If possible, use a clothesline and let the sun do the drying for you.

“Remember, fans cool people, they don’t cool the room. So when you leave the room, shut off the fan so you’re not wasting energy there,” said Tricia Modifica, Spokesperson for Eversource. 

Modifica says the extra electricity usage can put a strain on their system. Crews prepare year-round for weather events. 

“We inspect our lines from the air, from the ground to check for any problems we can address in advance to make sure customers don’t have interrupted service during the hot, hot summer days,” she said. 

Crews are on standby in case of a power outage. 

“We have crews scheduled around the clock and they’re ready to respond if any repairs are necessary and get their power back right away because no one wants to be without power during these hot days.” 

Eversource said you can check your account online to see your exact electricity usage.

Norwich Public Utilities is also encouraging customers to conserve energy.

NPU is expecting to see very high demands for electricity through the end of the week due to the high temperatures. Due to this, the company is urging customers to use electricity wisely in the days ahead. This is because a portion of NPU’s annual costs for electricity is based on “peak demand” days. By using energy efficiently for the next few days, customers can help keep overall electric costs lower throughout the year.

Second, NPU said the overall impact of the company’s infrastructure will be minimized.

“While this summer has been relatively mild, given the recent weather, we have to ask our customers to help us get through the first heat wave of 2022,” said Chris LaRose, General Manager at NPU. “By using energy wisely, customers can save money on their bill and reduce the likelihood of power outages over the next three days.” 

NPU released several tips to help conserve energy:

  • Be smart about using an air conditioner. Only run a window unit when someone is home; NPU recommends setting a central AC system to 73 degrees or higher.
  • Consider waiting until after 7:00 p.m. to use major appliances like a dishwasher or clothes dryer.
  • Minimize the use of appliances or devices that generate heat before 7:00 p.m. – 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 by installing window coverings to minimize the heat coming into a home or business.