Electricity, the heat wave and you

Hot hot hot for the next week

A mom and her kids during a hot summer day in Oregon (KOIN 6 News, file)
A mom and her kids during a hot summer day in Oregon (KOIN 6 News, file)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — As the heat rises, so does electricity use. But Portland General Electric said their system is able to handle the extreme hot as well as the cold temperatures.

PGE officials have suggestions for people to do simple things to conserve energy while staying cool:

  • Set your thermostat at 75 instead of 70
  • Keep your doors and windows closed while using air conditioning
  • Use interior fans to circulate air to cool the house
  • Turn off the AC when it gets cooler at night.
A man fills a water bottle on a hot summer day in Oregon (KOIN 6 News, file)
A man fills a water bottle on a hot summer day in Oregon (KOIN 6 News, file)

“The good news is that our system is really designed to deliver reliable power even in these really hot times or really cold days,” PGE’s Melanie Moir told KOIN 6 News. “Certainly the more number of days strung together of hot weather the more it is going to affect the system, because our equipment just doesn’t have as much time to cool down overnight.”

Many areas are opening cooling centers to help elderly people who need help to beat the heat.

Air conditioners

Many places like Standard TV and Appliance are ready for the annual rush on air conditioning units of all kinds.

Tony Gayaldo of Standard TV and Appliance said if you want one come early because “they will sell out. I usually see frustrated, hot people coming in when they’re all sold out.”

He added most people aren’t that energy conscious when they come in to buy during a heat wave. “At that point, it’s comfort,” he said.

Other spots, like Sears, had a new shipment of AC units ready to go.

MAX Trains

When the temps go up, the trains slow down.

Once temperatures hit 90, MAX trains have to slow down 10 mph, and if the temp hits 100, they slow down more.

That, of course, means delays for riders.

A system of pulleys and counterweights pull on the train wires to keep them tight. But when it gets very hot, the counterweights touch the ground and the wires begin to sag.

Drivers also need to keep an eye out for sun-kinked rails. The track expands in the heat and when it gets too hot it can actually bend or lay over on its side.

Stay with KOIN 6 News for all your weather information.

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