ST. LOUIS, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- With temperatures hitting over the 100 degree mark this week, AmerenUE is on the alert with a full contingent of crews ready to respond to service interruptions as equipment is stressed by both the prolonged high temperatures and the high volumes of electricity flowing through the system.
"The equipment has held up well so far, but under the extreme heat we have experienced in the last week, we'll definitely see strains on our system," says Richard J. Mark, senior vice president, AmerenUE Missouri. "We care about our customers' comfort and safety and are doing everything we can to keep the system running well. To date, the number of outages has been only slightly higher than a typical summer day. When customers have been out, we've been able to get the power on within a few hours for most situations, but we are asking customers to conserve when they can to keep their costs down and the system less stressed."
Mark says that many heat-related outages result from transformers getting overloaded in areas where demand for electricity has risen due to increased usage. Transformers move power from higher to lower voltages -- much like water pressure in a garden hose. They include safety devices designed to shut them off when too much power is coursing through them.
With an eye toward helping customers manage their costs, AmerenUE is offering daily tips on saving energy on the Web site http://www.ameren.com/ and in advertising and media releases. Here are a few of those tips:
-- Give your appliances a summer vacation between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., especially those that generate heat -- like ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers. What about a picnic dinner with cold salads instead of something hot? -- Lock in the cool by closing off vents in rooms you're not using. That will help your air conditioner operate more efficiently. -- Lock out the heat by drawing shades and blinds and turning off other unnecessary lights and appliances.
The biggest energy users in customers' homes are air conditioners and refrigerators. Setting the thermostat as high as possible will help -- the recommended energy efficient summer temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. For every degree you raise your thermostat-you cut your energy by 2 to 3 percent. For more information, visit the Ameren Web site http://www.ameren.com/.
AmerenUE serves 1.2 million electric and 125,000 natural gas customers in Missouri. Ameren companies serve 2.4 million electric customers and nearly one million natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area of Missouri and Illinois.
CONTACT: St. Louis Area, Susan Gallagher, +1-314-554-2175, or Tim Fox,
+1-314-554-3120, or Outstate Missouri, Mike Cleary, +1-573-681-7137, all of
Web site: http://www.ameren.com/