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With Summer Starting Saturday, Local Power Companies Say They're Ready

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The official start of summer is Saturday.

Our local power companies say they're ready.

With the temperatures rising, many of us have already started cranking that air conditioner, reported CBS2's Andrea Grymes. It's happening moreso at home, since that's where many of us are still working.

"We feel like we're prepared even for an unusual summer, with the shift in demand for power," said Con Edison spokesperson Allan Drury.

Con Edison notes it has seen a drop in electricity usage in commercial areas like Midtown Manhattan, and a spike in residential areas, all due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On a recent morning in the Bronx, crews upgraded service lines outside the Mott Haven Houses to provide more capacity for power.

It's one of more than a dozen NYCHA locations where they've done this, and it's all part of a $1.3 billion investment for the summer.

"That money goes into feeder cables that carry the power, transformers, network protectors, substation equipment. All the equipment that makes the system robust," Drury said.

On Long Island, PSEG Long Island says their load will double on a peak day in the summer compared to the winter. This year more than ever, they're preparing for more customers working from home, and more kids working online in summer classes.

"Looking at the loads from the year before, making sure that transformers are sized right, making sure that our substations have enough power coming out of each of them to serve any load growth in those areas," said PSEG Long Island President & COO Daniel Eichhorn.

Just some of their improvements include new transformers installed in Hauppauge, Elmont, Hempstead and Malverne to provide additional capacity during peak demand.

Meantime, in New Jersey, PSE&G says it has performed similar work, getting ready not only for any further shift in the power load for summer, but also for hurricane season.

"We monitor those loads all the time. We look at summer peak types of loading to make sure we're prepared for that, to make sure that we have contingency plans for the unexpected, and we're ready," said PSE&G Director of Emergency Preparedness Paul Toscarelli.

Customers hope everything runs smoothly, so widespread outages are avoided. They're all encouraged to conserve energy as much as possible this summer, to keep their bills as low as possible.

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