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Power Record Set During Extreme Heat

Dominion Virginia Power set an all-time record for peak demand for electricity on Friday.

The company’s 2.4 million customers used 20,061 megawatts of electricity between 3 and 4pm on Friday.  That broke the previous record of 19,688 megawatts set on August 8, 2007.  One megawatt provides enough electricity for about 250 homes.

Although the blistering heat and oppressive humidity from last week has died down, the continued warm weather means high electricity use.  Dominion has the following tips for keeping energy costs down and keeping homes comfortable:

  • Postpone activities requiring hot water to early morning or late evening to prevent heat and humidity from building up in the home.
  • If you are comfortable, raise the thermostat to 78 degrees.
  • Close drapes during the hottest points of the day.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights, which add heat to a home.  Consider switching to cooler, energy efficient CFL bulbs.
  • Make sure window air conditioners are sized correctly. Those that are too small will run constantly, but will not cool the room. Those that are too large use more energy than necessary.
  • Clean filters to window air conditioning units and clean or replace filters to central air conditioning systems. Clogged filters cause air conditioners to use more energy than necessary to keep a home cool.
  • Clear attic vents. If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.

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