Power Grid Operator Calls For Voluntary Conservation During Heat Wave

The operator of New England’s power grid is asking consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity during this week’s heat wave. I-S-O New England says the request comes as a precaution with electric demand expected to reach near-record levels later this week. 

During each afternoon this week, demand for electricity is expected to be more than  27-thousand megawatts , not quite breaking the record set in 2006. Just one megawatt is enough power for a thousand homes. Marcia Blomberg, a spokesperson for ISO New England, says consumers should not panic about a shortage of electricity.

“This is a prudent, precautionary measure to help keep supply and demand in balance during the heat wave. This doesn’t mean the supply of electricity is running short of the amount we need to meet demand at this time.”

Blomberg says during peak usage times, electric customers can help conserve energy by running air conditioners at higher temperatures,  if health permits. They should also use electric appliances late at night or early in the morning and turn off lights when not needed. Blomberg says should power supplies run short, ISO has steps in place to meet increased demand.

“We can call on companies that have agreed to reduce their electricity consumption when we ask. Those are called demand response resources. We can ask neighboring regions to send us some power and we can step up our conservation requests if need be.” 

Forecasters predict the heat wave could last through the weekend.