RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- Northern Nevada is seeing some record breaking temperatures in the region. Higher temperatures can bring higher energy demand, as more people turn on their air conditioning and turn down their thermostat.
But NV Energy's Director of Transmission & Distribution, Shahzad Lateef, said the power company is ready for it. "This is the first summer we will have our new transmission line in use. It connects northern and southern Nevada, so that we can balance out the energy load and place that energy where it is needed."
NV Energy and Great Basin Transmission South dedicated the 231-mile long One Nevada Transmission Line (ON Line) in January. It connects NV Energy's northern and southern services for the first time. The line is energized to 500,000 volts and has an initial capacity of up to 800 megawatts.
Lateef said because of the new transmission line, when demand increases, NV Energy no longer has to rely on other energy companies in the region, such as California and Utah, to help meet the demand. Power officials can shift energy loads to where they are needed most. "Today, it is supposed to be a lot hotter in northern Nevada than it is in the Las Vegas area, so we can actually move the power across the state to use it where it is needed."
Higher energy demand can put stress on the system and expose vulnerable points. There was a power outage over the weekend in Wingfield Springs, affecting around 1,200 customers, but Lateef said the problem was isolated and quickly fixed. "A fuse was stressed because of prior events so when people cranked up their air conditioners, that fuse melted. We just went out and replaced the fuse."
The new transmission line will not prevent those types of events. However, Lateef said it will minimize the risk of a brownout or blackout, which can be triggered by higher energy demand.
Another new thing this summer is NV Energy customers now have access to their accounts via the NV Energy website. Smart meters are allowing customers to better see their energy use. "It will tell you how much of your bill goes toward your lighting, how mcuh goes toward your applicances, how much goes toward your air conditioning," Lateef said.
He said you want to be as efficient as possible, so a thermostat setting of 78 is recommended, and so is a programmable thermostat. According to NV Energy, other ideas to save energy include:
- Changing air filters on air conditioning systems monthly when the system is running more often and making sure the air conditioning unit is free of debris
- Using window coverings to keep heat out during the day
- Using the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer later in the day as these appliances can heat a house
- Using portable electric fans and ceiling fans to help keep temperatures cooler
- Considering using an indoor evaporative cooler instead of the air conditioner as the power consumption is drastically lower
- Opening windows to let cooler air in during mornings and evenings
- Replacing incandescent lights with LED lights or compact fluorescent lights
For even more ideas and other information, visit NV Energy's website