PORTLAND, Ore. (Aug. 17, 2023) — Portland General Electric thanks customers for their collective actions to reduce energy use during this week’s record-setting heat wave. Coupled with PGE’s own year-round system upgrades and preparedness efforts, customer actions helped with electrical service reliability.
PGE employees also worked diligently on several efforts to address or prevent potential heat-related issues, including:
Added extra cooling systems to help keep essential distribution equipment from overheating.
Assigned extra crews for the week to quickly and effectively respond to any outages.
Activated demand response programs.
Encouraged commercial and industrial customers to reduce electricity use.
Advancements in technologies and electrification means today’s electric system is a two-way street. This creates the opportunity for customers to have a significant impact by reducing their energy use during times of peak demand. Their actions this week reduced power demand by about 90 megawatts (MW) during peak hours on the hottest day – Monday (August 14) – and by an initial 96 MW followed by a second 16 MW drop on Tuesday (August 15). These results helped PGE maintain reliable power throughout the week.
PGE’s demand response programs – Peak Time Rebates, Smart Thermostat, and Time of Day, reward customers for reducing their energy use during times of peak demand. Extreme temperatures create an increased demand for electricity, especially during the evening when people typically return home from work, turn up the air conditioner, and run dishwashers and other appliances. Reducing energy use during these times alleviates stress on the grid and PGE equipment, helping the company continue to provide reliable power to customers throughout the day.
Just over 20 percent of PGE residential customers are enrolled in these energy-and money-saving programs. As the Pacific Northwest continues to see recording-breaking summer and winter weather, PGE encourages customers to enroll. More participation helps reduce strain on the grid and increases service reliability for all during extreme weather events.