Heat Is On: Con Ed Prepared For Record Energy Use


con-ed1The Big Apple is holding its collective breath today and dreading the possibility of brown-outs or even a blackout like the one we all suffered through four years ago. Power wires sparked and ignited in Corona, falling down on parked cars and causing power outages. Several homes were evacuated in the middle of a swelteringly-hot night because of the dangerous fire conditions.

As crews worked on the downed wires, Con Ed was preparing for its record for peak energy use on a 97-degree day in 2006 to be shattered today when demand is expected to increase once offices re-open.

Unlike the blackout four years ago, Con Ed said they already have extra crews in the field, more on standby and have been investing a billion dollars a year to improve infrastructure.

“Our crews are out in the field. They’ll be responding to any problems that come up, and we’ll respond to them as quickly as possible so a small problem doesn’t become bigger,” said Mike Clendenin on Con Ed.

Con Ed said with 90,000 miles of wire under City streets, they’re expecting some burnouts, but if people conserve, it’ll really help.

The utility was urging customers to set air conditioners at 78 degrees or above, unplug nonessential electronics and run appliances like dishwashers and washing machines after 10 p.m.

Some were heeding Con Ed’s warning. “Use power strips,” one resident said. “Turn the power off, you know?”

However, one expectant mother said she needs to keep her cool. “I can’t. I can’t turn off the AC at home.”

{CBS/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}