More hot and humid weather is forecasted in the Mid-Hudson Valley this week, which leads to higher energy use as residents and businesses use air conditioning to keep cool. The heat may trigger thunderstorms during the week, some with the potential to interrupt electric service.
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory that will remain in effect through Friday, Aug. 13, with high temperatures in the 90s and heat indices above 100 degrees, with the potential for pop-up thunderstorms. Visit hudsonvalleyweather.com for the latest forecast information.
“Higher energy use can raise both the wholesale market supply price for electricity and electric bills,” said Ryan Hawthorne, Vice President of Electric Engineering and Operations. “Using appliances efficiently, especially during the hottest weather, conserves resources and can help residents manage their energy bills.”
Ways in which customers can save energy include:
- Setting thermostats on air conditioners to 78 degrees and higher during times when the home is not occupied and considering the use of fans to keep cool. Also, changing dirty filters on air conditioners will help the unit run more efficiently.
- Closing doors, windows, curtains, shades and blinds during the day to seal out the heat and block sunlight when temperatures are at their highest.
- Turning off lights and appliances when not in use, and unplugging electronic devices, such as televisions, entertainment systems and computers, that continue to draw power even when off. Some devices use up to 25 watts of “standby power” when idle, and approximately 10 percent of the total energy used by homes powers devices that are not in use. Plugging these devices into a power strip and then switching off the strip when the devices are not used is a convenient and effective way to reduce standby power.
- Using large appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers during the evening hours, when overall energy use is less.
- Keeping refrigerator and freezer doors closed as long as possible and limiting the time they are opened.
Residents are also reminded to drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms when possible, stay out of the sun and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. For a complete list of heat safety tips, visit www.weather.gov/safety/heat-during.
To prepare for the possibility of thunderstorms and power outages, residents should:
- Pay attention to weather advisories, storm outage updates and/or shelter information. Visit hudsonvalleyweather.com for the latest forecast information.
- Charge electronic devices in order to connect with Storm Central, Central Hudson’s outage information and reporting site;
- Keep handy a flashlight and fresh batteries;
- Have a battery-powered radio to remain informed of restoration efforts;
- Confirm adequate packaged or canned foods that require no refrigeration or cooking;
- Avoid opening a refrigerator unnecessarily during outages, so that food lasts longer, an unopened refrigerator can keep food fresh for 4 hours; and
- Keep an emergency supply of bottled water on hand for drinking and washing;
Residents are also advised to stay at least 30 feet away from downed power lines and remember that lines may be entangled and hidden in fallen trees and limbs. Residents should also assume all downed lines are live.
Learn more about Central Hudson’s energy efficiency programs, products, incentives and rebates at www.cenhud.com/my-energy/save-energy-money/. To learn how to prepare for storms, visit www.cenhud.com/outages/storm-preparation--safety/