(Host) Vermont energy officials predict that the state will establish a new peak energy record this week. The state’s largest utilities are urging customers to limit the use of large electric appliances during daytime hours.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports:
(Kinzel) Utility officials say there was a major surge in electrical demand on Monday morning as a heat wave continued to grip the region.
In many cases, large office buildings had been gathering heat all weekend and when workers returned to their offices Monday morning the air conditioning units had to work overtime to bring temperatures down.
Steve Costello is a spokesman for the Central Vermont Public Service Corporation, the state’s largest utility.
Costello expects that the state will set a new peak energy record this week because as the heat wave continues, more and more people will seek relief.
(Costello) “During the course of a heat wave like this, day one day two, people pretty much can deal with it. But as it gets into day three and four people become more and more bothered by the heat and tend to either turn the air conditioning even up more than they have in the first couple of days. And more and more people will go out literally every day and buy more fans more air conditioning to deal with the situation. So typically we do see loads growing each day of a heat wave like this.”
(Kinzel) Costello says the overall supply of power for the region is good even though demand is soaring.
(Costello) “There’s been a lot of development of new generation in southern New England over the last three or four years. What we’re typically dealing with is making sure that we can get the power where it needs to go. And as demand grows, the system gets tighter and tighter, more power is needed to be moved through the system. And that’s where you can get some constraint.”
(Kinzel) Green Mountain Power, the state’s second largest utility, encountered some transmission problems in central Vermont early in the day but was able to repair the facilities.
GMP spokeswoman Dotty Schnure is urging consumers to take steps to reduce power usage and she says even some little measures can help a lot.
(Schnure) “I one time did a just an analysis – if everyone in New England every person in New England turned off one 100 watt light bulb, that would be enough to equal Vermont’s entire load. What we’re asking now is not quite as drastic. But if everyone in the area just turns off one light, it’s enough to help. It’s enough to make a difference.”
(Kinzel) Schnure says it’s important to implement these energy saving steps because the current heat wave is expected to last for several more days.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel.