New York power demand to reach 2016 high during heat wave on Monday

(Reuters) - Demand for power in New York state on Monday will top Friday’s high for 2016 as consumers crank up their air conditioners to escape a heat wave.

The New York Independent System Operator (ISO), which operates the state’s power grid, forecast demand would reach about 32,400 MW on Monday, topping the high for the year of 31,187 MW set on Friday.

That, however, is still well below the ISO’s all-time high of 33,956 MW set in July 2013.

Consolidated Edison Inc, the biggest electric company in the state, meanwhile forecast demand in its New York City and Westchester service area on Monday will top Friday’s high for the year of 12,124 MW.

That was still far below Con Ed’s record of 13,322 MW set on July 19, 2013.

Other than some local outages related to equipment failures in parts of the city, the company is not having problems keeping the lights on, Con Ed spokesman Alfonso Quiroz said.

High temperatures in New York City have topped 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) since July 21, reaching a peak of 96 on Saturday, and are expected to remain over 90 through this Thursday, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.

Over the weekend, Con Ed called on customers in a few neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island to conserve energy. The company also reduced the voltage in those neighborhoods to protect the system and maintain service as crews repair equipment problems.

Con Ed fixed those weekend equipment problems by Monday morning, Quiroz said.

To help reduce power usage and save money, some electric service providers on Monday asked customers that signed up for demand response programs to turn off unnecessary lighting and other electronic devices and raise the thermostat on their air conditioners, among other things.

Demand response programs compensate customers for reducing power consumption when requested for economic or reliability reasons.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli