Appalachian Power pauses planned outages due to excessive heat

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the hot temperatures continue across West Virginia this week, Appalachian Power Company says it will be cutting back on the utility’s planned maintenance related power outages.

Karen Wissing

Spokesperson Karen Wissing said planned outages that are happening will take place in the early morning hours.

“We’re going to look at what scheduled outages that we can do in the early morning hours before temperatures reach daytime highs and that’s to keep our employees and our customers comfortable and safe,” Wissing told MetroNews Wednesday.

The scheduled outages are performed several times throughout the year to improve liability. Crews most likely won’t resume work until next week when temperatures cool off a bit. Highs will be in the 80s Wednesday and Thursday and then back into the 90s all weekend through Tuesday.

Wissing said the hotter it is outside, the more energy is used to cool your home, but it depends on what you set your thermostat to.

“If you have your thermostat set to 68 degrees on a day that’s 95 degrees or higher, your unit is working very hard to keep your home at 68 degrees, so if you were to bump that up just a little bit, it’s going to allow your unit to not work as hard and therefore, your bill won’t be as high the following month,” she said.

The company offers an average monthly payment option for electric heating/cooling to avoid seasonal spikes and high costs during the summer and winter months.

“When we have so many high temperature days and units are using more power, that average monthly payment plan really helps spread those costs out so you’re not seeing a big surprise in August,” Wissing said.

Emergency outage work will continue as needed this week.

The company has provided the following energy saving tips below:

  • Set thermostats just a few degrees higher, especially when you aren’t home.
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances such as ovens or dryers during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Keep windows covered during the day, especially those facing south, to save on cooling costs.
  • Ensure ceiling fans are spinning counterclockwise to push cooler air down.
  • Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use.

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