It has been so hot in the Treasure Valley lately, you're probably a little bit baffled like I am when we are still being warned that a "heat wave" is on the way. You mean to tell me that THIS isn't the big wave of blistering heat, right now? Oh, okay, lovely.

Not only are residents preparing to take on the heat headed our way in a hurry but so too are businesses and employers.  Perhaps the most concerned, however, is Idaho Power--the force behind our electricity or in other words, the force behind that cold air blowing out of our air conditioners.

So what is it that Idaho Power should be so concerned about? Well, it's not so much the heat but rather what the heat will be having people do: stay inside and CRANK that air conditioner.

Growing up, my family always hated running up the power bill for air conditioning in the summer so often times, it was a box fan for me.  Now that I live alone, I certainly do not hold back when it comes to cooling off my home.

I may be the poster child for Idaho Power's latest request: power down a little bit during this heatwave.

Why exactly would we want to "power down" when we need it the most? It all goes back to this heat wave and the probability that everyone in the area is going to be wanting that maxed out power at the exact same time. This puts a pretty significant strain on the power grid. Can you imagine that thing crashing during a heat wave? I don't even want to put that thought into the universe.

From the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Idaho Power customers are being asked if they can "relax" the power usage a little bit if it can be safely done in your respective household. These hours are when electricity usage is at its peak and when solar power begins to decline.

How can you "power down" during this time? Tips from Idaho Power are simple:

  • Turn your A/C thermostat up a few degrees if it is safe to do so at your home to prevent your unit from working too hard
  • Heat up your food in other ways that do not require an oven-- such as a BBQ or a microwave.
  • Close your windows and blinds to keep the sun out
  • Only use lights and appliances in rooms that have people in them or are being used.

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