CL&P prepares for summer energy spikes

With summer here, CL&P says it is prepared for the annual spike in electricity use and onset of seasonal storms that come with the hot weather. As increasing temperatures prompt heightened use of air conditioning in homes and businesses, demand for electricity across New England is historically at its highest during the summer months. And, with hurricane season officially here, this is also the time of year when more frequent storms could pose a threat to the electric grid.

“Throughout the year we work to make our system stronger, with a focus on meeting the summertime demand for electricity and reducing storm-related outages,” said Steve Gilkey, CL&P’s vice president of electric field operations. “We prepare for the unique challenges that come with each season by investing millions of dollars in our system annually to improve service reliability year-round.”

Improvements to CL&P’s system this year include the continuation of a five-year major grid modernization project to enhance reliability, known as the System Resiliency Plan. It includes installing new and stronger poles, wires and related system equipment. Year-round tree trimming, aimed at reducing tree-related power outages, is also a key part of the company’s commitment to providing reliable electric service, a press release from the company said.

CL&P’s system reliability work also includes comprehensive ground and aerial inspections of its existing equipment using high-resolution digital photography, as well as visual and infrared inspections of more than 1,600 miles of overhead transmission lines. The company also performed infrared and visual inspections of key electrical distribution equipment in communities across its service area.

In preparation for difficult weather conditions, the company reminds customers to consider the following information:

As work begins on home improvement projects, CL&P reminds everyone to stay clear of overhead power lines. If improvements involve digging, always be sure to call Call Before You Dig (811 or 800-922-4455) at least two working days before starting the job.

Making a list of key phone numbers and preparing an emergency kit are ideal ways to be ready for severe weather or power outages. Items to include in emergency kits include water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, batteries and extra cash.

While emergency generators can be very useful during power outages, it’s crucial to personal safety and the safety of others — including CL&P line crews — that they be installed and operated properly. Never run a generator indoors or near windows.

Information: cl-p.com or redcross.org.