RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — Nevada is in the midst of a blistering heat wave that’s breaking temperature records, scorching the state, and yet NV Energy is asking customers to increase their thermostats to 78 degrees.
NV Energy has released various statements recommending customers to reduce their energy intake during a heat wave. They claim reducing air condition usage will prevent power outages during a time of high demand.
"The current heat wave is forecast to last through Wednesday, September 7. We appreciate the efforts of our customers to reduce their energy use and urge them to continue to conserve during this heat wave, especially between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 p.m," says an NV energy spokesperson.
The calls for energy conservation have drawn backlash.
NV Energy customer Jessie Wilson explained that as a paying customer she should be able to use has much air conditioning as she wants especially amidst a heat wave.
Holy cow that is ridiculous! It is hot and I do not want to sweat in my own home.
NV Energy's request prompted the following questions. Is the power grid failing to meet demand and what is being done about it?
The answer is infrastructure and climate.
This isn't an NV Energy issue, this is an issue in which we are inner connected to utilities throughout the western United States and we are seeing a historic heat wave that has never been experienced before, not only this time of year but maybe ever and that exceeds the expectation of a system that was designed in some cases decades ago," says Jesse Murray the VP and Electric Delivery and Natural Disaster Protection for NV Energy.
Governor Steve Sisolak's Energy Office is aware of the issues regarding the unsustainability of the western power grid relating this statement to News 4 & Fox 11.
“As we continue to see climate change-driven extreme weather events, like this week’s west wide heatwave, Nevada’s work toward a long-term regional grid is vital to the state and our partners’ work on grid resilience,” David Bobzien, Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy said.
“We are working with partners to prepare Nevada’s application for the $5.2 million per year formula funding for projects that improve grid resilience (from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law). However, the work that’s being done in Nevada and throughout the west to join a regional market is what will address a more resilient and reliable electric grid, as well as create more renewable energy export opportunities for regional electricity load sharing.”