Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited

June 29, 2005 11:36 ET

Toronto Hydro urges Torontonians to continue to reduce electricity use

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - June 29) - Toronto Hydro is urging its customers to continue to reduce electricity consumption through Thursday to reduce the possibility of service interruptions caused by high demands on the provincial power system.

Electricity demand in the province has reached record levels this week. The City of Toronto on average accounts for approximately 20% of the province's electricity load. Conservation by Toronto's business and residential communities is an important piece of the overall electricity management effort during this heat wave. Electricity peak demand in Toronto has been in the 4800 Megawatt range over the past few days.

One Megawatt is equal to 1 million watts, or the amount of electricity needed to light 10,000 one-hundred watt light bulbs.

The peak normally occurs in the mid to late afternoon, and represents the point in time during the day when the City's homes, businesses and infrastructure is drawing the most power from the provincial grid.

Prolonged heat waves do strain electricity distribution systems because ambient air temperatures do not cool transformers and cables sufficiently, and this can lead to localized interruptions. Toronto Hydro is not experiencing undue problems; however localized outages affecting small numbers of customers have occurred over the past week due to overloads and lightening strikes. Toronto Hydro's emergency crews are responding quickly to problems as they occur.

The following measures will reduce strain on the electricity system:


- Turn air conditioners off if practical. Where cooling is essential, set air conditioning thermostats higher than normal and advise employees that you are making this temporary adjustment.

- Reduce lighting levels in offices by 50% (except in areas required for emergency response such as stairwells) by removing every second light bulb. Consider turning off ceiling lights from work areas located one or two rows from office windows.

- Reduce the numbers of elevators and escalators that are in service. Waiting times will be longer, but energy consumption will be reduced. Advise building tenants that you have made this adjustment.

- Eliminate the unnecessary use of cooling systems in off - hours.

- Where practical and with regard to maintaining proper hygiene, reduce the availability of electrically heated hot water in the building.

- Where possible, draw naturally cool air into the building through windows and doorways.

- Ensure outside security lights are turned off during the day.

- At night, turn off all lights that are not needed for safety and security.


- Turn air conditioners and other appliances off if practical, and especially when you leave home. Where cooling is essential, set thermostats several degrees higher than normal.

- If practical, open windows to draw in naturally cool air if possible. For southern and western exposures, close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and maintain cooler indoor temperatures.

- Reduce lighting levels and turn lights off when leaving the room. Turning of all but essential internal and external lights. Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

- For cooking, use microwave ovens if possible.

- Where practical, dry clothes by hanging them outside.

- Minimize the use of hot water. If possible, take showers instead of baths.

- Refrain from using major appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers and swimming pool pumps until after 8:00 p.m.

Should a power interruption occur, we recommend that any equipment that was turned on at the time of the interruption be turned off to avoid power surges when service is restored. Leave a light turned on so that you can determine when service is restored.

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