July 20, 2022
Waterbury Center, VT — Temperatures are sizzling across New England, which has many seeking the cool relief from fans, air conditioners, and heat pumps. But when we collectively crank up the AC, the electric grid gets stressed.
“On a typical day, Vermonters get electricity from renewables like hydroelectric facilities, solar arrays, and a mix of other resources,” said Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA) Director of Public Affairs, Julia Leopold. “When electric demand increases, more generators are fired on to meet our needs.”
These generators run on natural gas and oil, emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. On top of contributing to climate change, a spike in electric use can also put a drain on your wallet.
“Vermont utilities pay a fee based on the one hour within a year when energy use is the highest. That fee is included in the energy charge on electric bills. The more we can work together to conserve energy during electric peaks, the lower that fee will be,” said Leopold.
An electric peak is expected Wednesday, July 20, 2022 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. So what can be done to save energy? VPPSA has these tips:
- Avoid running major appliances like the dishwasher or clothing dryer
- Use a toaster oven instead of an electric oven or grill outside
- If you have an air conditioner or heat pump, set it 2-3° warmer
- If you have an electric water heater, save your shower and laundry for later
- Turn the lights off when you’re not in the room