SPRINGFIELD, ILL.(IRN)- No surprise that this heat wave has led to new records for peek energy demand. Ameren’s two new records are: 9,502 megawatts on July 19 and 9,605 megawatts on July 21 by the utilities Illinois customers. The previous record was 9,386 megawatts set on Aug. 7, 2007.
Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris says because of the extreme heat and humidity, most air conditioners were running almost continuously through the afternoon and evening hours.
ComEd also saw a record for peek energy demand Wednesday night, exceeding the utility’s previous peak on Aug. 1, 2006. Like Ameren, ComEd points to high temperatures in the evening and overnight that didn’t allow many air conditioners to cycle.
With the prospect of more hot weather through next week, Ameren is advising customers on how to stay safe and cool while better managing their electricity usage.
- Turn the air conditioner’s thermostat up. For each degree you increase the temperature, you can reduce electricity use by about 3 percent.Regularly change or wash (depending on type) air conditioner filters.
- Use ceiling fans or other types of circulating fans. Circulating air feels cooler. Many people find this allows them to set the air conditioner thermostat to a higher temperature.
- Keep shades, curtains and blinds closed during the day to reduce effects of solar heating.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Unlike incandescent bulbs, Energy Star qualified CFLs emit little heat and last up to 10 years.
More energy savings tips are available at ActOnEnergy.com, by calling 1-866-838-6918 or by sending an e-mail to ActOnEnergyResidential@ameren.com.