HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric is asking Oahu customers to conserve electricity in the evenings this week, especially between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., as the hot, muggy weather is driving up air conditioning use and demand for electricity more than normal. In addition, the entire power plant, operated by Kalaeloa Partners, an independent power producer, is out of service due to unexpected repairs. The light winds also mean there is little power being provided by the island's wind farms.
"We appreciate our customers' understanding. As we saw last week, cooperation from our customers helps because every little bit of energy we conserve makes a difference," said Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric spokesman.
As a precaution, to ensure sufficient power is available to meet the early evening peak demand for electricity, Hawaiian Electric is asking residential customers to conserve energy. The time between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is especially critical, when customer usage normally climbs due to early evening cooking, bathing and other activities. Suggested steps include: turning off or lessening use of air conditioners, delaying hot showers and dishwashing activities, and minimizing cooking until later in the evening.
Hawaiian Electric is also asking its larger commercial customers to voluntarily reduce electricity usage. System operators will also work on further reducing the demand for power by using Hawaiian Electric's demand response programs. These voluntary programs help lower the overall use of electricity by reducing the energy output of certain appliances or equipment, such as water heaters for participating residential customers and non-essential lighting and heating or cooling systems for participating commercial customers.
Although Hawaiian Electric anticipates it will be able to serve the evening peak demand for electricity, available backup generation reserves will be very low. Should demand for electricity remain high and another unplanned loss of generation occurs, power outages may occur.