PSE asks customers to reduce energy during hottest day of the year

Tuesday’s 90-degree temperatures marked the hottest day of the year and on that day Puget Sound Energy sent an email to over 400,000 of its customers asking them to reduce their energy use between 4 to 6 p.m. The timing, some argue, could’ve been better but to the energy company, it actually was best because high temperatures usually warrant more energy usage and therefore put more stress on the electrical systems.

We reached out to Puget Sound Energy about this energy reduction and they told us in a statement sent via email:

As we continue to experience high temperatures this week, our electrical system is performing well, and our teams continue to monitor for safe and reliable operations around the clock. PSE’s electric and gas energy delivery system is designed and maintained to provide reliable service during peak loads induced by extreme heat and cold weather events. We sent an email to about 400,000 customers yesterday, as part of our Demand Response Program

Demand Response is a strategy designed to decrease the load on the grid during times of peak use. It involves modifying the way customers use energy – particularly when they use it. Conservation is not requested to support reliability; however, we encourage customers to conserve energy for their own benefit (cost savings and comfort), as well as the benefit of relieving stress on the electrical system during times of increased demand. Learn more about our Demand Response program: https://www.pse.com/en/pages/grid-modernization/demand-response. - PSE

While the timing worked for Puget Sound Energy, some of their customers had other thoughts.

“It is a little bit of an inconvenience with how hot it’s been,” said Leahanna Hodgson.

The mother of two said having young kids makes it especially challenging but per PSE recommendations she’s able to mitigate some of the heat in her home the old-fashioned way.

“Our biggest thing to keep it cool is to shut the windows early on and just keep everything shut down and closed up and fans going!” said Hodgson.

PSE recommends some of the following tips for customers during these warm summer months, some a quick fix, others that require a little planning. Those tips include:

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. For those with central air or air conditioning, PSE recommends no lower than 75 degrees. That might seem on the warm side, but customers can save up to 5 percent on their electric bill by taking that simple step.
  • Consider investing in a smart thermostat that will automatically adjust the indoor temperature while you’re away.
  • Use fans to help circulate the air. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so when you leave the room, make sure to turn off the fan.
  • Make sure to close window blinds and curtains to block direct sunlight. In the evening, open windows for cross ventilation.
  • Switch out any conventional light bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs, which produce 70%less heat.
  • Run appliances, such as dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers, at night. A hot dishwasher sends heat throughout the house; run only on full loads and use the ‘no heat’ option for the drying cycle.
  • Consider cooking a later dinner or grilling outside to prevent any additional heat buildup.