West Penn boosting staffing, delaying some utility work during ongoing heat wave

14 June 2024- Extreme heat and humidity are in the forecast next week and tristate energy providers, including FirstEnergy, say they are prepared to meet the anticipated increase in electricity usage associated with summer’s first heat wave. FirstEnergy, which operates Med-Ed, West Penn Power, and Penelec said in a statement that “our electric system is designed and maintained to operate safely and effectively even in extreme weather conditions.”

In preparation for next week’s hot weather, West Penn in particular was reviewing staffing levels and operational procedures to ensure any localized power outages caused by excessive heat are handled promptly. Planned outage work scheduled for next week in areas with extreme heat will additionally be delayed for both the safety of their technicians as well as consumers.

You can stay connected and get hot weather tips by following your electric company on social media. It’s also a great time to sign up for outage alerts and text messaging to receive updates in the event of a power outage. Stay safe!

Tips To Beat the Heat

During this period of high demand, there are simple steps you can take to stay cool while keeping energy use in mind:

  • Check your air filter. Dirty filters force your cooling system to work harder, using more energy in the process.
  • Draw blinds, shades or drapes to block sunlight during the hottest part of the day, especially on south- and west-facing windows.
  • Set your fan counterclockwise. This creates a downdraft that pushes cool air down. Be sure to turn fans off when you leave the room – fans cool people, not rooms.
  • Caulk, weatherstrip or seal openings or cracks around doors and windows that could be letting cool air escape.
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest times of the day, which can make your AC work harder.

For more tips and resources to save energy and money year-round, visit firstenergycorp.com/saveenergy. If you need help paying your energy bill, visit firstenergycorp.com/billassist to see if you qualify for a payment arrangement or assistance program. 

As the so called “mega heat dome” settles directly over Pennsylvania, we got a chance to talk to News Talk 1037FM staff meteorologist Pat Pagano about the weekend and the days ahead. Hear his full forecast below.