Less than one week into the summer season, electricity consumption on Long Island is accelerating to record-setting levels, according to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA).

On Monday, June 24, with temperatures on Long Island reaching 87 degrees, the peak demand for the day reached 4271MW for the one-hour period ending at 6 p.m. yesterday, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees in some areas on Long Island, peak hour demand reached 4473MW for the hour ending at 3 p.m. Demand was on a record-setting pace to reach 4600MW, but thunderstorms that started to sweep across the island in mid afternoon began reducing temperature and humidity levels that had been building throughout the day, which in turn helped bring down the demand for electricity.

For today, June 27, LIPA is projecting a potential peak demand later today of 4600MW with available resources of nearly 5000MW as of 9 a.m. An afternoon storm front, similar to yesterday's, is in the forecast, which could cut demand as it did yesterday.

"We're only at the start of the summer season and we've passed the 4000MW level twice," said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. "When comparing this week's demand against similar weather and demand levels from last summer, demand is running at about 100MW to 125MW ahead of last year. That's a staggering increase which indicates that new demand records will be set this season during normal weather conditions, and that extreme heat could drive demand beyond our resources without concerted conservation efforts.

"It's important to underscore the need to conserve energy and to use it as fficiently as possible every day all summer long," said Mr. Kessel. "Folks can't wait until an electric supply emergency is declared to begin conserving. Now is the time to get into the daily habit of saving every watt of electric power possible."

LIPA requests that all electric customers - commercial as well residential - help conserve electricity by:

  • Eliminating all non-essential electric use;
  • Placing air conditioners on timers, don't let them run when not at home;
  • Setting air conditioners at 78 degrees;
  • Cleaning and replacing air conditioner filters for maximum efficiency;
  • Installing attic exhaust fans to reduce cooling needs;
  • Using fans to circulate cool air, which will help cut air conditioner use;
  • Setting refrigerators and freezers at most efficient temperatures; Running appliances such as clothes and dishwashers in the morning or late evening to avoid the peak demand hours of late afternoon;
  • Purchasing appliances with the highest energy efficiency rating.

For additional energy conservation tips, consumers can log on LIPA's Web site at www.lipower.org, or call its energy conservation hotline at 1-800-692-2626.

In May 1998, LIPA reduced electric rates across the board by an average of 20% Islandwide. Over the last four years that rate reduction has saved Long Island's electricity consumers more than $2 billion dollars. LIPA also offers a wide range of programs that can help consumers lower electricity costs through energy conservation and efficiency.

The Long Island Power Authority owns the retail electric system on Long Island. LIPA provides electric service to nearly 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens.