Despite intense heat, Con Edison has so far managed to keep the power on (and the city's A/Cs running) with minimal trouble—but the day is young and those outages could still come. Last night, for instance, the demand for power was high enough that the power utility had to reduce power to 100,000 customers in Queens and Westchester. So while people there still had some power, they just didn't have much of it.
And anyway, that brownout is already over, spokesperson Bob McGee told us. But "This is a fluid situation and there could be more. We'll just have to wait and see." And what we'll see should be interesting. Con Ed is estimating that by this afternoon it could be delivering more electricity to its customers in the city and northern suburbs than ever before. Yesterday usage peaked at 12,710 megawatts, well below the the all-time record of 13,141 megawatts set in August 2006.
If Con Ed does bring a brownout to your part of town the first thing you'll notice is probably flickering lights (or your phone ringing—the company did a pretty good job of letting residents know what was going on yesterday). And while you've got low voltage Con Ed asks you to not use things like washers, dryers, air conditioners and other energy-intensive equipment and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed until the problems are resolved. And anyway there are worse things than low voltage. Like no voltage. Or high voltage: