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Utility Urges Protection Of Energy Grid During Heat Wave

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Pepco is asking customers to reset their thermostats to at least 78 degrees.
Mulmatsherm via Flickr
Pepco is asking customers to reset their thermostats to at least 78 degrees.

Now that the rising heat has wiped out power for residents of Northeast D.C., Pepco crews are working to replace a burned-out cable.

The utility company is urging customers to think twice about their power usage.

Pepco spokesperson Clay Anderson says fixing a failed cable isn't as easy as just pressing a button on a computer.

"You have men and women who physically go underground to find the burned-out cable, to pull the cable out, to replace that cable," he says.

Anderson says customers can help prevent this problem by changing how they tap into the power grid.

"We start out with setting your thermostat," he suggests. "Those that are going to be away from your home, set your thermostat if possible to at least 78 degrees, because it takes less demand on the system."

Anderson also suggests closing blinds and drapes (if it's "100 degrees outside, the sun hits the window, heats up the home," he says), and waiting until after sunset to use major appliances, such as driers and dishwashers.

Anderson recommends avoiding the peak hours between early afternoon and 7 or 8 o'clock, when people come home from work.

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