Is it hot enough for ya yet? Struggling to keep up as New York City’s heatwave intensifies, Con Ed has announced that it is reducing power voltage by 5% in some Manhattan neighborhoods due to the stresses put on the city’s electric grid by the rising temperatures. The precautionary measure, also known as a brownout, aims to ease the load on the power grid and allows workers to fix frazzled equipment in the affected neighborhoods.
With temperatures in NY topping 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) on Monday and 96 on Tuesday, electrical systems have been under a massive strain. While projected thunderstorms are expected to help cool the equipment, the brownout was seen as a necessary pro-active step.
Con Edison has stressed that the action will not force homes and businesses in the affected Sutton Place and Midtown East neighborhoods to turn off their air conditioners or other appliances. However they have asked that residents in New York City and Westchester County use their energy wisely during the heat wave – which is the fourth to hit the city this year.
While customers do not lose power in a voltage reduction, other effects include the dimming of incandescent lights, and hot water heaters taking longer to heat water. Some motors are also prone to running slower, but Con Ed says that if their systems are to function at all in the heat, all of that is a small price to pay.
As of Wednesday morning, it is reported that only 92 customers have been without power, which, considering the massive hike in temperatures, is quite amazing. However any customers who wish to report power interruptions or service problems can call 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) if they are experiencing any service difficulties.