Heat wave has valley companies cutting electrical usage - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Heat wave has valley companies cutting electrical usage

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio- THot weather is changing the way energy companies supply power to their customers.

As the heat continues to bear down on North East Ohio, air conditioning units are running on high and putting a strain on Ohio's power grid.

During this past week's warm temperatures, Youngstown State University has been reducing their power usage; turning down the A/C and lights, typically for a few hours in the afternoon, in exchange for reduced energy rates and rebates.

"Employees and others have fans to try and keep the air circulating," said YSU director of University Communications Ron Cole. "I think in the long run this is a very good thing not only for the university financially, but as a good steward to the region and helping out during these high peak times."

The idea is for larger energy customers to cut back on their usage, ensuring customers at home aren't left in the dark.

Ohio Edison has 33 large companies in Ohio working under a similar deal, including Vallourec Star here in the Valley.

"On hot, hot days like this we might give you a phone call and say 'hey we're going to need to interrupt your power for a few hours between this time and that time,'" said Ohio Edison Spokesperson Mark Durbin."The whole thought is that they get something out of that arrangement."

This week is the first time in several years Ohio Edison has implemented the request, but only as a precautionary measure.

Durbin explains that even with the recent heat wave, electrical use is nowhere near a record breaking high.

"Unfortunately, that's because there is not as much economic activity across North East Ohio as we've seen in the past," said Durbin. "There aren't maybe as many large industrial customers. There aren't maybe as many commercial customers that in years past, they've created a lot of demand and on these hot, hot days put it on an even higher level and so we're not seeing that."

The 33 companies have been asked to limit their use of power at least three days this week.

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