Stay safe: third intense heatwave of summer to spike temps in Northwest

August 10, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. — A new heat dome settling in over the region this week will again have residents seeking ways to stay cool and Pacific Power wants to remind customers how to beat the heat, use less energy and save money. 

Be safe, look out for neighbors. With sweltering temperatures, you need to protect yourself. Drink plenty of water and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Also check on any neighbors who may have limited contact with others and may need a fan or other assistance such as transportation to a cooling center.

Heat waves are something the region experiences each year, although this year has been extraordinary. From a power supply perspective, we do not anticipate heat-related service interruptions during this current heat wave. In addition to regular maintenance and equipment upgrades, Pacific Power, as part of PacifiCorp, can access a diverse mix of available energy resources – solar, wind, hydro and thermal – which is key to fulfilling our promise of reliability and stability. 

Still, extreme weather – either summer heat or winter storms – has the potential to produce localized outages. We’re closely monitoring the system and will respond promptly if an outage of any nature occurs.

For comfort and convenience, we offer these tips for staying cool:

Be air conditioner smart

  • Set your thermostat at 78 degrees. Cooling your house below that temperature can increase your air conditioning bill as much as 8 percent. 
  • Don’t turn off the air conditioner when you’re gone; instead set it at 85 degrees. That setting allows your air conditioner to use less electricity to cool the house than if the air conditioning has been off all day.
  • Use a smart or programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature around your schedule. Set it to start bringing your home’s temperature from 85 degrees down to 78 degrees no more than 30 minutes before you get home. 

Don’t let the sun shine in

  • On warm days, close blinds and drapes, especially in south-facing windows which allow in the most heat.

Open windows and circulate cool air

  • Open windows in evening and early morning to let in cool air. 
  • Use fans to bring in and circulate cool air. Ceiling and window fans use much less electricity than air conditioning. Running an air conditioner in fan-only mode can also be effective as outside temperatures drop. 

Reduce the heat inside

  • Use heat-producing appliances like ovens, dishwashers and dryers in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler. 
  • Use a microwave, slow cooker or toaster oven. A toaster oven uses one-third to one-half as much energy as a regular oven and releases less heat into the home. 
  • Turn off heat-generating devices when not in use, including lamps, televisions and computers. 

If you are concerned about your power bill, call us now. We can set up a payment plan or refer you to local agencies for bill assistance. As a reminder to our customers, Pacific Power is not disconnecting customers who are behind on bills and has maintained that policy since March of 2020. In any case, the company generally suspends disconnects during extreme weather. We have instituted a number of programs to help customers get back on track with their bills. To find out more, call us any time at 1-888-221-7070.