Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is urging residents to voluntarily take steps to conserve energy as Connecticut faces a record demand for electricity during the ongoing heat wave.
“With temperatures expected to remain well into the 90s into the weekend, air conditioning and other needs are putting real strains on our electric grid,” Malloy said. “Everyone can play a part in helping us cope with this demand by taking a few simple steps to save electricity.
“Reducing demand for electricity can be as easy as setting the air conditioner to a slightly higher temperature; running washers, dryers, and dishwashers at night; and turning off lights and appliances that are not being used.”
Electricity demand could set record
ISO-New England, the region’s power grid operator, says demand for electricity could close in on a seven-year record as businesses and individuals cope with the weeklong heat wave.
The National Weather Service says temperatures in much of New England are expected to be in the mid to high 90s through Saturday.
Unhealthy air quality for some
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is forecasting unhealthy air quality for “sensitive groups” from Thursday through Saturday, July 18-20, due to predicted elevated concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution.
A forecast of “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” indicates increased likelihood of respiratory symptoms and breathing discomfort in active children and adults with respiratory disease, such as asthma and the elderly.
Anyone can be affected by ozone — particularly sensitive groups that include children, elderly, people with respiratory disease (such as asthma), and even healthy adults who are very active outdoors.
These sensitive groups who experience effects at lower ozone concentrations are likely to experience more serious effects at higher concentrations; and should avoid strenuous outdoor activities and consider remaining indoors in an air conditioned environment.
Importance of energy efficiency
Malloy said the demand for electricity during this heat wave highlights the importance of energy efficiency.
“We are putting aggressive initiatives in place to make Connecticut number one in the nation when it comes to energy efficiency because that is the basic building block of a sound energy policy,” he said.
“Efficiency brings down monthly bills for homeowners and businesses alike,” Malloy said. “In addition, efficiency brings down overall demands on and costs of the grid system by reducing the volume of power that must be produced. Through efficiency, we can shave peak demands for power, like the demand levels we are seeing now.”
The Energize CT website offers tips for residents (http://energizect.com/residents/smart-energy-tips) and tips for businesses (http://energizect.com/businesses/smart-energy-tips) on simple steps that can be taken to reduce energy use and trim costs.