T&TEC notes record-breaking electricity use as extreme heat continues

Darlisa Ghouralal | August 30, 2023 


With extreme heat affecting Trinidad and Tobago, many have relied on their air conditioning to keep cool.

As a result, the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) recorded its highest ever consumer electricity demand.

T&TEC initially said a demand of 1400.2 demand of megawatts (MW) was recorded last Thursday (August 24), but has since updated the figure to 1410 MW – a record-breaking level of usage.

T&TEC General Manager Curvis Francois, acknowledged that increased usage of air conditioning units is likely behind the increased demand.

Francois noted that air conditioning units typically account for the highest percentage of electricity consumption in households.

“Coupled with the traditional increased usage during the July/August holidays, “the impact on demand is not unexpected,” the T&TEC General Manager said.

T&TEC has sufficiently installed capacity (2037MW) to meet the surge in demand for electricity, but, the increased demand means higher natural gas usage.

T&TEC said practicing conservation, once safe to do so, will help reduce the impact on the availability of natural gas.

The Commission shared some tips to help people manage their electricity usage and their bill even during soaring temperatures.

1. Raise the temperature on air conditioning units by a few degrees to minimise the load and use fans to maintain comfort (every degree of cooling increases energy use by six to eight per cent).

2. Shield the sun. Close window coverings like blinds and curtains to shield the sun’s rays so that your air conditioning unit does not work harder to keep your home cool

3. Reduce water heating. Lower the temperature on your tank water heater or turn it off for one or two days; most outdoor water storage tanks will be sufficiently heated by the sun. Avoid using hot water for laundry and doing dishes.

4. Unplug appliances when not in use to prevent energy wastage. Turning off the ceiling fan and/or lights before leaving a room can help lower your energy usage. Common energy wasters include gaming consoles (e.g. Xbox, PS5), stereo systems, personal computers and desktop printers, and TVs. If these must remain plugged in, ensure they are in energy-saving mode.

5. Efficient Lighting. Switch to energy-efficient LEDs, which consume significantly less electricity and generate less heat.

In sharing these tips, T&TEC said every little bit helps, and collective action can make a difference.


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