But it says it can meet the demands.
Frederick, Md (KM) The intense heat blanketing the area has meant more people running their air conditioners full blast to stay cool. Potomac Edison spokesman Chris Eck says so far there have been no problems in providing electricity to customers. “Across our service territory, we’re not seeing any new records for uses,” he says. “But obviously this a time for very high demand for electricity simply based on the high temperatures which, of course, increases customer usage of air conditioners and the like.”
Eck says the biggest problem facing electric utilities like Potomac Edison when power demand is high is the thunderstorms that can pop during a heat wave. “And that can cause damage; and that can cause power outages; You get heavy rains and damaging winds coming down and that can impact the grid a little bit. But as far as availability of voltage, we’re in good shape.”
Frederick County and surrounding jurisdictions were placed under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for heavy winds Monday afternoon, but there were no reports of any outages.
“I believe we have plenty of electricity generation on the grid,” says Eck. “We can manage this heat wave for sure.”
But there are ways customers can save on their electric bills and stay comfortable during this period of excessive heat. “You can set your thermostat a little higher, as high as comfort will allow,” says Eck. “Every degree you increase the temperature will result in using about three-percent less energy during those hottest summer days.”
“Programmable thermostats can also help you save money because you don’t have to remember to change the temperature when you leave or when you come back. It can just take care of it automatically,” he says.
Eck also says it’s best to turn off window air conditioners in empty rooms, and to use heat-producing appliances during off peak hours, such as late at night or early in the morning.