With high heat and humidity expected across the state over the next several days, air conditioners and fans will be working overtime. Eversource officials say on average, Connecticut customers use 35% more electricity during the summer months when it’s sweltering outside. Although high electricity usage during a heat wave can put a strain on the electric system, Eversource says the utility is prepared to meet that increased demand.
Eversource President of Electric Operations in Connecticut Steve Sullivan says by conducting ground and aerial inspections of the overhead and underground electrical system in the cooler months, crews can detect and address any issues in advance.
Sullivan offered tips for keeping energy costs down this summer including signing up for a Home Energy Solutions in-home energy assessment and service and borrowing a Kill A Watt kits from a library. The electricity usage meter shows how much power is being used by most home devices. A list of participating libraries can be found at Eversource.com.
Additional tips include keeping air conditioners set at a moderate temperature that’s also comfortable. For every degree higher on the thermostat, the air conditioner will use 1 to 3 percent less electricity. Using a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat can also help manage energy usage, especially when away from home.
Ceiling fans should be set to rotate counterclockwise and at a higher speed in the summer to circulate the breeze more effectively, creating a cooling, wind chill effect. People should keep air vents clear of obstructions such as furniture, curtains, and rugs. For those with central air and floor vents, consider using vent deflectors to direct and increase the reach of cooled air. Using curtains, shades, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.