With guidance from Idaho Power, the Idaho state government has put in place ways to support energy conservation efforts this week.
BOISE, Idaho – With record high temperatures arriving in the west this week, Idaho residents are looking for ways to stay cool.
“Very, very cold,” Annaliese Lewman described the feel of the water in the Boise River on Tuesday.
“It’s refreshing,” added Amelia Lewman.
Many people in Treasure Valley are focused on tackling this week’s heatwave.
“Last week we actually had a busy week,” said Ryan Lewman. “We went to McCall, we jet ski and chilled at Payette Lake and we went to Eagle Island State Park and we went to Bogus Basin.”
While many may decide to spend the next few days outdoors, others stay indoors.
“It’s funny because I just moved in here about two days ago for a summer internship but I was in my room,” Jaydon Brown said.
As the heat continues to build up in the area over the next few days, many in the community are relying on their air conditioners to help them get by.
With warm temperatures leading to increased energy demand, drought conditions and a shortage of transmission lines, Idaho Power is asking customers who can do so safely to reduce their energy use from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. h over the next few days.
“Customer usage is really high right now and I think it’s no surprise with the extreme temperatures and growth in the valley,” said Adam Richins, COO of Idaho Power .
These tips from the power company are not mandatory, but their purpose is to alleviate the pressure on the regional power grid.
Idaho Power said air conditioning takes the biggest load on the grid and that is why there are peak hours during the summer. They advise those looking to help increase their air conditioning a few degrees.
Even though it can be hot in the area, people are doing their best to help with the effort.
“We stay outside the house during the hottest hours of the day and come to places like [the Boise River]Lewman said, adding that his family didn’t run the air conditioning as much in the home.
“Turn on a fan, we have a lot of ceiling fans that we use or like to open a window,” Brown said.
It’s not only community members doing their part, but the state government of Idaho is also supporting energy conservation efforts.
“Being one of Idaho Power’s biggest customers, the state is certainly inclined to do it,” said Steve Bailey, deputy director and chief financial officer of the Idaho administration department.
Bailey said there were plans to turn off large amounts of lights in the Capitol common area, which generally remain on. He said it would reduce their light load by 50%.
There are also plans to turn off exterior lights outside the Capitol during this week.
“Citizens will definitely be able to see the impact of this if they go to see the capital during this time when we are in this reduced energy use,” Bailey said.
It’s not just the Capitol, a note has been sent to state agencies at the Capital Mall and Chinden State Campus to reduce energy consumption. Bailey said buildings and offices will turn off lights, computers and other devices where they aren’t needed. Air conditioning and indoor temperatures will also be affected by energy conservation.
Bailey said these agencies and buildings comply.
According to Idaho Power, the regional grid still seems tight in extreme temperature conditions, but the system is performing well on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s definitely overtime, but it gets the job done,” Richins said. “We hope it will continue like this.
Currently, the utility does not believe that the progressive outages can affect customers this week.
If such a situation arises, they will communicate plans and updates to customers as soon as possible. Idaho Power said it has plans in place and is in contact with cities and counties to implement them.
“For now, we hope it will continue like this,” Richins said.
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