Dominion Virginia Power reports record energy demand

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Day after day of oppressive heat and humidity is putting record demand on energy usage in Virginia and North Carolina.

Dominion, with 2.2 million customers in the two states, set a one-hour record with peak demand reaching 17,610 megawatts on Monday between 5 and 6 p.m.

The old record was not even a week old; on July 19, usage of 17,305 megawatts was recorded in a one-hour span.

Email newsletter signup

With temperatures and humidity expected to remain extremely high, the record may be broken again soon.

Dominion is asking customers to use energy wisely and be aware of the dangers posed by the heat wave.

Customers with special needs – particularly elderly and ill persons who do not have air conditioning – should be checked on frequently.

To stay safe in this uncomfortable weather, Dominion urges everyone to:

Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.

If you must work outside, take frequent breaks and drink plenty of fluids.

Don’t wait until you are thirsty.

Stay indoors in a cool place, especially during the afternoon.

When outdoors, wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Try to wear natural products such as cotton and avoid synthetics.

Be especially sensitive to pets, allowing them to stay inside when possible and keeping them well-hydrated.

During this dangerous heat wave, Dominion is especially concerned about the elderly.

In tandem with the Va. Department for the Aging, Dominion provides box fans through the Fan Care Program to elderly Virginians who need help cooling their homes.

Elderly customers who need such assistance are encouraged to call the Department for the Aging toll free at 1-800-552-3402 or contact their local Area Agency on Aging office.

The following energy conservation tips require little or no expense and could help lower electric bills while keeping homes comfortable:

Postpone activities that require hot water to early morning or late evening.

This will keep from adding more heat and humidity to the home.

Raise the temperature setting on the thermostat.

For every degree raised, customers can save as much as three percent on cooling costs.

Turn off unnecessary incandescent lights.

Consider switching to cooler, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs where light is needed.

Use ceiling and floor fans to move air around the home.

Close drapes during the hottest times of the day.

Make sure window air conditioners are sized correctly.

If too small, they will not efficiently cool the room.

If too large, they use more energy than necessary.

Clean filters to any air conditioning units, window or central.

Clear attic vents.

If the home has an attic fan, make sure it is functioning properly.