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Sweltering Heat Leads to Historic Weekend Electrical Demand, Con Ed Says

 A large, industrial air conditioner, perched atop a Midtown skyscraper. Peak demand for power reached an all-time high Saturday as overheated New Yorkers flocked to their air conditioning, Con Edison said.
A large, industrial air conditioner, perched atop a Midtown skyscraper. Peak demand for power reached an all-time high Saturday as overheated New Yorkers flocked to their air conditioning, Con Edison said.
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Shutterstock/Eldad Carin

NEW YORK CITY — The weekend demand for electricity in the city and surrounding areas reached a record high Saturday thanks to scorching temperatures and extreme humidity, according to Con Edison.  

Peak customer demand for power reached an all-time weekend high at 4 p.m. Saturday, with 11,855 megawatts provided in New York City and Westchester County, Con Edison said. The previous record for a weekend day was 11,533 megawatts, set at 3 p.m. on July 23, 2011, the utility said.

As temperatures rose, so too did customer demand for air conditioning and fans, leading to the spike, Con Edison said.

Con Edison said crews were responding to outages scattered throughout the area. As of Sunday morning, the utility reported a handful of outages in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester, according to its power outage map. Staten Island appeared largely unaffected, just days after hundreds of Staten Islanders lost power for hours

The company provided tips to help save save energy throughout the dog days of summer:

► The Smart AC Program connects customers with technology to control air conditioners from their computer or mobile device.

► Set air conditioning to the highest comfortable temperature. Every degree you lower the thermostat drives up your bill by 6 percent, according to Con Edison estimates.

► To reduce heat and moisture in your home, run appliances like ovens, washing machines, dryers and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it’s cooler outside.

► When the air conditioning is running, close doors to keep cool air in and hot air out. 

► Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed. About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows, according to Con Edison. 

► Turn off AC units, lights and other appliances when not at home and use a timer or smart technology to turn on your air conditioner about a half-hour before arriving home. 

► Keep AC filters clean. 

► If you run a business, keep your door closed while the AC is running.

► If you replace old appliances with newer Energy Star appliances, which Con Edison said could reduce energy usage by 30 percent, the utility will pay a $30 rebate.

Customers can report outages and check service restoration status at www.conEd.com or by calling 1(800)75-CONED.