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Only YOU Can Prevent Blackouts

Summer is almost here! Alright, spring is almost here, but the summer months are not too far away. Predictions are showing that conditions will be hot and dry, which can only lead us to think, can the power grid handle the heat?

It’s not so much the temperature that could bring the grid down, but what electricity customers do when it begins to swelter.  If you’re like most people, you’ll turn on the air conditioning as soon as you feel a bead of sweat forming.  That means that once temperatures reach about 80°, cool air will be the most desired thing on the planet, driving the population to crank the AC.

This is a situation feared by all electric utilities.  With such an increase in demand, utilities worry they won’t have enough power to meet the needs of their customers.  If they don’t, widespread blackouts will ensue.  And no one wants that.

So what can utilities do to guarantee we get our AC?

Typically, utilities have three options: spend a fortune on transporting energy from outside the area, pollute the air by starting up old power plants, or turn to their customers for help.  (Yes, you can prevent blackouts!)  No utility wants to rely on an outside party, but in the event of an emergency, the third option is certainly the most economical and environmentally friendly.

Large facilities (and some residential areas) can volunteer to reduce their electricity consumption during times of high stress on the grid in order to avoid blackouts and brownouts.  It’s called demand response.  Not many people have heard of this program but it’s definitely worth looking into, especially since your company can also make some extra cash in the process.

Only a few months separate us from those blissfully warm temperatures, and that means now is the time to do your research and determine if enrolling in a demand response program is the right move for your business.  As an added bonus, you’ll receive advanced notice if your utility thinks any voltage fluctuations will occur, giving you enough time to shut down any machinery that could be damaged.

If you’re still not convinced about the severity of city-wide blackouts, check out these photos from the New York blackout of 1959.

To learn more about demand response and how to enroll your business, click here.

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