PGE keeping power going this summer as use hits all time high - KPTV - FOX 12

PGE keeping power going this summer as use hits all time high

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Rayna Carr may have seen her PGE bill double this summer compared to last, but she's grateful she can crank on the air conditioning in this record-breaking summer of 25 90-degree-plus days.

Carr is keeping cool because she can count on the northwest power grid, managed for many by Portland General Electric.

In downtown Portland at PGE's Systems Control Center, "power planners" hourly monitor customers needs and power availability. So far this summer, despite a trio of heat waves, PGE hasn't had to ask customers to cut their power use.  

That consistent ability to supply energy to local customers is impressive, considering 80 percent of PGE customers use air conditioning, either through central air or a window unit. Just 25 years ago, only 30 percent of its customers had air conditioning.

This summer has seen a spike in demand, with June power use 14 percent higher than June 2014. But it's a record PGE set in July that really stands out.  

On July 30th when it hit 103 degrees in Portland, PGE broke it's all time high for power use on a summer day.

Like many other PGE customers this summer, Carr has seen her bill go sky-high because she's had the air conditioning on so much. PGE advises that customers can set up an alert system online on their billing account will monitor power use and show how much it is costing them. 

Carr said she's trying to cut down on her power use.

"We keep the house shut, try to keep the curtains closed and minimize going in and out and things of that nature."

But she admitted that with a house full of kids, she really needs to keep the cool air on.

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