Submitted by Mitch Gross, Eversource
(July 19, 2022) — With high heat and humidity expected across the state over the next several days, air conditioners and fans will be working overtime at most homes and businesses. On average, Connecticut customers use 35% more electricity during the summer months to keep things cool when it’s sweltering outside. Although high electricity usage during a heat wave can put a strain on the electric system, Eversource is prepared to meet that increased demand and its crews are ready to respond to any outages or issues that may arise.
“We begin preparing for the increased demand we typically see during the summer months well before the hot weather arrives,” said Eversource President of Electric Operations in Connecticut Steve Sullivan. “By conducting ground and aerial inspections of the overhead and underground electrical system in the cooler months, we can detect and address any issues in advance so that our customers have reliable service during these hot summer days and throughout the year.”
Three actions customers can take now to beat the heat this summer:
- Use the new Cooling Calculator on Eversource.com. The tool helps customers understand how much electricity their current cooling system uses and the impact of small changes to temperature settings.
- Sign up for a Home Energy Solutions in-home energy assessment and service. During the visit, a certified technician checks a customer’s home to identify places it can be tightened up to save money and energy. The technician will provide on-the-spot improvements like sealing up drafty doors and windows and closing air gaps around pipes and more to help keep the heat out and the cool air produced by your AC in the house. They’ll also discuss possible insulation upgrades. You’ll save on cooling during the summer and be ready for heating this winter, too.
- Take advantage of the Kill A Watt electricity usage meter, which shows how much power is being used by most home devices. The Kill A Watt kits are available for borrowing from nearly 200 libraries around the state. A list of participating libraries can be found at Eversource.com, here.
Additional tips for keeping temperatures and energy costs down in the summer:
- Keep air conditioners set at a moderate temperature that’s also comfortable. For every degree higher on the thermostat, the air conditioner will use 1-3% less electricity. Using a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat can also help manage energy usage, especially when away from home.
- Don’t block air flow. 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. Keep air conditioner filters and coils clean. Dirty filters block air flow, reducing efficiency and making it harder to deliver the cool air.
- Keep blinds closed when it’s hot out to prevent unwanted heat from entering a home through windows. Using curtains, shades, and blinds can lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
- Switch to ENERGY STAR® certified LED lights. The energy-efficient bulbs run cooler and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent lights.
- Set ceiling fans to rotate counterclockwise and at a higher speed in the summer to circulate the breeze more effectively, creating a cooling, wind chill effect. Since ceiling fans cool only people and not the actual room, remember to turn off the fan when leaving the room.
- Cook dinner outside. Cooking indoors heats up the kitchen and makes cooling systems work harder, so opt for cooking outdoors instead.
- Look for the ENERGY STAR rating when purchasing new appliances. Also, be sure to choose the right size when purchasing an air conditioning unit. An oversized or undersized AC unit is less effective and uses more energy.
To learn about the many energy saving programs available, visit Eversource.com
Help is available for customers who need it. Eversource encourages customers to enroll in one of its payment plans or assistance programs if they need help with their energy bills. Regardless of financial need, customers are eligible for various payment programs and are urged to call Eversource at 800-286-2828 or visit Eversource.com/BillHelp
to find the right plan for them and to enroll online.