Local power companies ready for increased demand on grid amid hot weather

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Air conditioning drives power usage in the summer, especially on abnormally hot days like we’ve seen plenty of recently. But regardless of the power surge electric companies are seeing, they have ways of getting ahead of the increased demand.

Westfield Gas and Electric started a program last year during a string of hot days where they send out emails, and social media posts, to their customers about how to get through what’s called power rush hour, or the increased demand on the power grid that happens from 5:00 to 8:00 in the evening when people get home from work.

These emails give quick and easy ways to lessen the load on the grid overall. 

“Turn off your lights when you leave your room, and try to not run your air conditioning between those power rush hours are like 5-8 p.m. It’s when if you can avoid running your dishwasher, running your washer and dryer,” Lisa Stowe, the Marketing/Communications and Customer Experience Manager, told 22News.

Stowe said these days are a little different since people are home nearly all day, but they do see an uptick in power usage from 5:00 to 8:00. Shutting off the appliances she discussed makes it easier for the power grid to deal with air conditioning since those appliances use more electricity than a fan or your TV. 

Stowe also told 22News anytime you turn off an electrical appliance, no matter how small it may be, you’re saving electricity and reducing the load.

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