Saturday, November 29, 2014

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Heat Puts City's Power Grid To The Test

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TWC News: Heat Puts City's Power Grid To The Test
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Con Edison is keeping a wary eye on its power grid which is seeing high demand in the extreme heat. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.

In Queens, as all across the city, air conditioners were working overtime Friday to keep the record heat at bay. Of course, that meant more of a strain on Con Ed's system for getting electricity into homes and businesses.

When signs of trouble surface, the utility sometimes has to reduce voltage to keep its cables from frying. Con Ed says most people won't notice, most of the time. But some customers who spoke with NY1 were not entirely convinced.

"Absolutely makes me a little nervous. If we're not going to have enough with this heat, it's impossible to lose your AC, what about old people?" said one Woodside resident.

"I understand it's better than everybody being without power completely," said another.

Con Ed's cautionary advice to all city residents on how to head off a total blackout still stands. They recommend not using large appliances during the day, minimizing A/C usage, and keeping lights off unless necessary.

Limiting any other electric devices can help as well.

"Turn them off if you don't need them at the moment. But obviously we understand A/C is important to get people through this heat wave safely," said Con Ed Spokesman Michael Clendenin. "If you do run them and your area is in voltage reduction, just try to run it moderately if you can or turn them on for an hour or so to try to cool your home and then maybe turn it off."

Customers experiencing voltage restrictions may notice lights flickering or some appliances running hotter. If there is an outage, you would have no power at all.

Con Ed says all outages should be reported to 1-800-75-CONED or by visiting coned.com.

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