News Releases

Sierra Pacific Reports Record High Demand for Power

Jul 9, 2002

Sierra Pacific Power Company
Contact: Karl Walquist
Phone: 775-834-3891

For Immediate Release

Reno, NV - Sizzling temperatures pushed the demand for electricity to record high levels on Wednesday, according to Sierra Pacific Power Company, the electric utility for approximately 315,000 customers in northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area of California.

Demand for electricity across the region reached 1,589 megawatts at 5 p.m., surpassing the company's previous all-time record of 1,577 megawatts set on July 31, 2000. The utility's peak demand for 2001 was 1,529 megawatts set on Aug. 7. (A megawatt represents the amount of electricity required to serve about 650 homes.)

The record is attributable to increased use of air conditioning equipment during the current heat wave, increased use of pumps for irrigation, and to customer growth in Sierra Pacific's service area, according to Bruce Bullock, the utility's executive director of distribution operations.

If the weather stays hot, the company could set a new all-time peak later in the week, Bullock said.


Listed below are a few of Sierra Pacific's tips for staying comfortable when daytime temperatures soar into the triple digits. These tips can also help customers hold down their monthly electricity costs.

  • Dress appropriately. Loose fitting clothes, open collars and open- weave materials allow your body heat to escape (Natural fibers, such as cotton, work better than synthetics in absorbing perspiration and allowing it to evaporate.)
  • Keep the air circulating. Even a small portable fan can make you more comfortable at a very low energy cost. (An electric fan is much less expensive to run than an air conditioner.)
  • Set the controls on your air conditioner between 78 and 80 degrees when at home; 5 to 10 degrees warmer at night or when you're not home.
  • If your air conditioning unit is located on the ground, keep the area around it clean and free of obstructions to maintain airflow. Keep the outdoor condenser coils clean and be sure to change your air conditioning filters.
  • Turn off lights and appliances when they're not in use, including your computer.
  • Close blinds and drapes during the day to keep the heat out.
  • Use your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer as late in the evening as possible. Run full loads. Also, use the energy saver feature on your dishwasher, which allows dishes to air dry. (When they're on, appliances generate heat. So turning them off may save air conditioning energy.)
  • Instead of using the stovetop or oven to prepare meals, barbecue outside. By reducing the heat produced in your home by the stove, you will reduce the load on your air conditioner.
  • If a room, such as a spare bedroom, is not in use, don't cool it more than necessary. If you have central air conditioning, close the air supply register in the room. Also, keep the windows closed, the blinds and shades closed, and close the door to the room.

For more energy conservation tips,visit Sierra Pacific's Take Control web page.