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Scale back energy usage during extreme heat alert

Toronto Hydro is asking consumers to cut back on their electricity consumption as the city issued an extreme heat alert on Tuesday.

There’s a high of 33 C in the forecast for Tuesday but it will feel more like 41 C with the humidity, CityNews meteorologist Adam Stiles said.

Setting the temperature on the thermostat just one degree higher could ease the strain on the electricity grid and save consumers money.

Air conditions working overtime, as well as the inability for Toronto Hydro equipment to cool down, can cause localized power outages due to heat-related failure, the utility warned.

One Toronto long-term care facility was already affected by a power outage.

The power went out at the Westpark Long Term Care centre on Buttonwood Avenue around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the generator failed to kick in.

With many patients on ventilators, the home was preparing to evacuate with the help of police and fire services until the power was restored around 1 a.m.

During an extreme heat alert, Toronto officials are asking people to call on or visit those who may be vulnerable to the heat, especially isolated adults, seniors and the chronically ill.

The city has opened cooling centres and extended hours at public pools to help residents cope.

Click here for a full list of cooling centre locations.

Click here for extended public pool hours.

A cold front is expected to move into southern Ontario late Thursday and will bring temperatures back in the seasonal range.

Click here for the full weather forecast.

Toronto Hydro energy saving tips:

  • Set the temperature at least one degree higher than you normally would.  Turn it off when you’re not at home or use a programmable thermostat to  turn the AC off (or up) during peak times.
  • Use a ceiling fan to supplement your AC, you can raise the temperature  on your thermostat and feel just as comfortable.
  • Keep doors and windows closed while the air conditioner is running.
  • Keep window shades drawn during the afternoon to minimize the passive  solar heating effect of the sun.
  • Hang clothes to dry.