WAKEFIELD – With high temperatures expected to continue through the week, the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department is asking customers to reduce the electrical load during peak times by reducing or rescheduling the use of electricity whenever possible.

WMGLD customers can do their part by reducing their energy consumption, especially between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.:

  • Run appliances such as washing machines, dryers, ovens, and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night.
  • Use a microwave to cook, or a barbecue outside, if possible.
  • Set your air conditioner thermostat no lower than 78 degrees. Each degree lower increases cooling costs by six percent.
  • If you have a room air-conditioner, close off the rooms not being used; if you have central air, close the vents in unused rooms.
  • Turn off lights and other appliances, using a timer to turn them on as necessary.
  • Keep cool with fans, air conditioning, and cool baths or showers. You can make your own air conditioner by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan and letting it blow on you.
  • When the temperature cools and you can open the windows, remember that window fans work best when blowing air out, so put your fan on the sunny side of the house and let it pull out the hot air while pulling cool air from open windows on the shady side.
  • Keep shades or curtains pulled on the sunny side of the house.

When the temperatures and humidity levels are high:

  • Remember to keep hydrated by drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Dress in light, loose, cotton clothing. Natural fabrics like cotton are much cooler than most synthetics and loose fitting clothes allow air to circulate, keeping you cooler.
  • Avoid strenuous activity during the day. Stay indoors in a cool environment if possible.
  • Check on the elderly. Their bodies don’t adjust as well as younger people to sudden changes in temperature.

It’s also important to protect appliances and electronics from voltage instability caused by brownouts, lightning strikes, momentary power fluctuations and/or storm-related blackouts. Using Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems, surge protectors, and surge suppressors will best protect this equipment. These protection devices can be purchased locally.

“Even when the region is not in a heat wave, customers should continue to conserve electricity throughout the summer,” WMGLD General Manager Pete Dion said. “We’re doing our part by monitoring the electrical load, but we need your help.”

General Manager Dion also encourages customers to sign up for the WMGLD’s Connected Homes Program which helps the department better manage its electric load, reduce costs and keep rates low. WMGLD customers who enroll in the Connected Homes program utilize the technology of their smart appliances and devices and agree to allow the department to make brief, limited adjustments to their devices during times of peak electric demand, such as temporarily reducing the charging rate of an electric vehicle during peak hours. Smart devices that may be enrolled through the WMGLD Connected Homes program include home batteries that store electricity, electric vehicle chargers, electric hot water heaters and mini-split controllers.

“If we all do our part and practice energy conservation, we can all stay cool during periods of high temperatures and humidity,” he concluded.

For additional information about energy conservation and the Connected Homes Program, visit the WMGLD website, www.wmgld.com, or check out the WMGLD page on Facebook for any heat-related updates.