ISO: Power use approaching record levels

T.F. Green Airport recorded a high temperature of 94 degrees Tuesday, marking an official heat wave.{} The high was 92 degrees on Sunday and 94 on Monday.

Water parks made a splash Tuesday with children in Providence looking for a way to beat the heat.

Another way many kept cool was inside with the air conditioning running.

"I keep the A/C on, but I think need to upgrade to something more green because it's running my electricity bill right up," said Nicole Young of Providence.

It certainly gets the electricity meters whirling. Energy usage is expected to surge this week.

ISO New England, which tracks power supply and demand, forecasts the greatest peak demand on Wednesday and Thursday at 27,800 megawatts.

Last year's peak was 25,880 megawatts on July 17. The record for electricity use in New England was 28,130 megawatts on Aug. 2, 2006

To that end, ISO is forecasting a slight deficiency in power supply compared to demand the next few days, so it's asking customers to voluntarily conserve.

Some tips:

  • Raise the temperature setting on air conditioners to between 74 and 78 degrees, if health permits
  • Turn off any lights, electronics and office equipment that's not needed
  • Use appliances like dishwashers, washing machines and dryers in the early morning or late evening

At the South Side Boys and Girls Club in Providence, they served up freeze pops and turned off the lights in an effort to conserve electricity.

"Our pool filtration system is green, so we have that. Lights are off, and we monitor when we use air conditioners in the building," said Kyle Dennis.

If more action is required, ISO New England could call on business customers who have agreed to cut electricity use to conserve power to do so. It can also import more power from grid operators outside the region.