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July 19, 2013

People asked to conserve energy

PLATTSBURGH — Steamy temperatures are expected to push electricity demands to record levels, and people are being asked to conserve power.

The New York Independent System Operator, a nonprofit organization, said peak demand this week was expected to reach 33,300 megawatts.

New York state’s record peak demand of 33,939 megawatts was recorded on Aug. 2, 2006.

To help manage demand on the system, the organization called for the activation of demand-response programs, which encourage consumers to reduce usage statewide.

“While New York currently has sufficient resources to meet the higher demand for electricity, it is important for all electricity consumers to follow the conservation advice of their local utility,” Independent System Operator President and CEO Stephen G. Whitley said in a statement.

With forecasts for temperatures to reach well into the 90s, National Grid is also asking customers to reduce all unnecessary electricity usage during daytime hours.

The request is being made to reduce demand on utility equipment and maintain system reliability.

The record peak usage for National Grid upstate New York customers was set in July 2011 at 6,909 megawatts. Usage so far this week has approached that record but has not surpassed it, the company said in a news release.

National Grid offered these suggestions to reduce usage:

Put off energy-using activities: Turn off lights when they are not needed, and avoid cooking, bathing or washing clothes during the day.

Unplug electronics: Even though your television and other appliances are turned off, electronics with little standby lights still draw electricity.

Adjust the thermostat, and use fans: To reduce the energy use of air conditioners, set the thermostat as high as health and comfort will permit. Using fans in occupied rooms, instead of air conditioning, also reduces energy usage.

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