ALBANY — Oppressive heat and humidity and the demand for power rising to near record levels prompted Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday to order energy-saving measures in state facilities statewide and to call on local governments and New Yorkers to take similar action.
The measures, including shutting off most lights and reducing air conditioning in state buildings, are intended to avoid power outages. Cuomo also warned that more than 80 New Yorkers have died from heat-related causes since 2006.
Friday’s power use is expected to reach 32,800 megawatts, slightly higher than Thursday. The record power demand is 33,955 megawatts, on July 19, 2013.
The state has also created a list of cooling centers statewide for people unable to get relief from the heat at home (http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/weather/cooling/).
They include HSE Center on Suffolk County Community College’ Grant Campus, 1001 Crooked Hill Rd., Brentwood; Peconic Building on SCCC’s Eastern Campus, 121 Speonk Riverhead Rd., Riverhead; Brookhaven Gym on SCCC’s Ammerman Campus, 533 College Rd., Selden; and Mitchel Field Administration Center, 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale.
The Health Department’s tips for keeping cooler and reducing power use include:
- Closing drapes, windows and doors on a home’s sunniest side.
- Turn off air conditioners, lights and appliances when not at home. Use timers to turn on air conditioners a half-hour before returning home.
- Use energy efficient air conditioners with the “Energy Star” designation.
- Set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher and place them in a central window in a shaded area, not a corner.
- Use fans instead of air conditioners when possible.
- Use appliances such as washing machines at night or in the early morning, before peak power use periods.
- Use microwave ovens and clothes lines.
- Avoid strenuous exercise during the middle of the day, drink more water than usual, check on neighbors and provide plenty of water to pets.