Scorching temperatures kept most New Yorker inside all weekend and, according to Con Edison, those New Yorkers had the air conditioning on full blast.
Con Edison, the power company that services New York City, is reporting record power usage over the weekend after a heat wave swept through the East Coast and New York region. Three-digit temperatures, including the hottest day of the summer in New York City, had residents turning up the air conditioner and sending the power usage surging.
Peak customer demand for power reached an all-time weekend high of 11,855 megawatts at 4 p.m. on Saturday, according to Con Edison. The previous record for a weekend day was 11,533 megawatts, set at 3 p.m. on July 23, 2011. Saturday was also the hottest day of the year so far in New York City, with temperatures reaching a sizzling 96 degrees. To make matters worse, the humidity made the temperature feel like 110 degrees, according to CBS2 New York.
That New Yorkers would have been huddled around their air conditioner units in those temperatures is understandable, but that course of action is not without its risks. On Friday, before the worst of the heat wave reached the city, Mayor Bill De Blasio warned city residents to stay indoors, but also that too big a strain on the power system from the aggregate of each resident's A/C could be detrimental. De Blasio recommended residents set their air conditioners no lower than 78 degrees to avoid a power surge that could trigger a city-wide blackout.
"The last thing any of us wants to go through is a blackout," de Blasio said in a press conference. "If you set your air conditioner to 78 degrees, you’ll be fine, and you’ll help protect yourself and everybody else from the danger or a power outage."
If the power usage Con Edison reported is any indication, New Yorkers were not content with "fine." But luckily, the city seems to have survived the heat wave without losing power. According to Weather.com, temperatures in New York City are supposed to fall into the 80s this week with scattered thunderstorms affecting the area.