22 Jul '11, 11pm

Record Heat Fails to Produce Record Power Demands and Blackouts: Credit the Department of Energy's Efficiency Standards

As the major cities of the East Coast joined in on the suffering from the heat wave that has lingered over the central parts of the country, and both Washington DC and New York set heat and humidity records, here is one thing that didn’t happen . The lights didn’t go off. New York reported a peak power demand that was only trivially higher than it was four years ago, and stories of blackout elsewhere are isolated and uncommon. Why is this? In large part, it is due to the success of efficiency standards for air conditioners. Air conditioners are responsible for peak loads occurring on hot summer afternoons: previously they occurred in the winter. The Department of Energy’s recent (2006) standard for new central air conditioners is already saving over 1000 Megawatts of power compared to the previous standard: that compares to Consolidated Edison’s record peak of 12,000 MW. I...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dgoldstein/record_heat_...

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