As Hot Spell Lingers, UI Offers Tips for Saving Energy while Keeping Cool

ORANGE, CT — Tuesday, July 3, 2018 — As the region roasts under a lingering wave of hot, steamy air, United Illuminating and its parent company, AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), are encouraging customers to conserve energy while remaining safe and cool.

Daytime temperatures are expected to remain uncomfortably near the 90-degree mark through mid-week. The resulting increase in customer demand for electricity, driven largely by use of air conditioners, can tax energy budgets and even strain the regional power grid.

UI monitors weather conditions round-the-clock and takes measures to anticipate and address the impact of prolonged high temperatures on its power grid, such as thermal inspection of overhead lines. In extreme cases, it can call on certain commercial and industrial customers to voluntarily suspend operations in order to temper demand.

The transmission grid operator for the six New England states, ISO-New England, has said it expects the region to have adequate electricity resources this summer to meet consumer demand under normal weather and system conditions. As of Tuesday morning, it was reporting a system status of “normal” and had not issued a formal appeal for conservation.

However, AVANGRID and UI encourage customers to take reasonable measures to conserve during hot weather, so they can remain safe and comfortable while avoiding excessive energy costs. 

Here are some hot-weather conservation and safety tips.

  • During daylight hours, close curtains or shades to reduce penetration of heat into the home.
  • Convert to efficient LED lights, which are up to 90 percent more efficient and yield significantly less heat than conventional incandescent bulbs.
  • Make sure air-conditioner filters are clean and debris has been removed.
  • Set your thermostat to a slightly warmer temperature if health permits. A suggested range is 74 to 78 degrees, according to ISO-New England.
  • Turn off air conditioners when leaving home for an extended period, such as multiple days.
  • On cool nights, give the air conditioner a break. Open windows and use ceiling or room fans.
  • Turn off ceiling fans when you’re not in the room.
  • Whenever possible, delay using major appliances such as pool pumps, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers until after 8 p.m. Learn about Energize Connecticut’s “Wait ‘til 8” initiative.
  • Stay hydrated and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.

In addition, customers are encouraged to plan and prepare for heavy storms that can occur during or immediately after hot weather. Visit UI’s website, uinet.com, for outage information, and storm safety and preparation tips. Additional information about energy efficiency and conservation can be found at EnergizeConnecticut.com.