The vigilant sun has caused New York City to reach a new energy usage plateau. According to Con Edison, the city broke its power usage record yesterday, a "title" that had stood for two years.

Day six of a scorching heat wave in the New York area has pushed electric usage to a new all-time high in Con Edison’s service area today, reaching a peak of 13,214 megawatts (MW) at 2 p.m. The previous all-time peak record was 13,189 MW set on July 22, 2011." You did it!

"You did it"? Are potential power outages something to be excited about? Anyway, Con Edison has some advice for how to prevent that from happening:

- Install a timer or clock thermostat on your air conditioner so you can program it to operate and shut-off at a pre-determined time.

- If you have a room air-conditioning unit, close off the rooms not being used; if you have central air, block off the vents for un-used rooms.

- Plan cooking, baking or other household activities that produce heat and humidity for the cooler times of the day and night.

- Use a portable or ceiling fan to circulate the pre-cooled air in your air-conditioned home. A fan uses about 90 percent less energy than an air conditioner.

- In very humid weather, adjust your air conditioner’s fan to a low setting. It’ll take longer for the air conditioner to cool your home, but your unit will bring in steamy air at a slower rate and make you feel more comfortable.

- Pull your curtains and shades on windows to block out the heat.

These are all very simple, useful ways to save energy while the abusive heat continues. Just know that relief is on the way. In the meantime, the sun is winning.

[via Gothamist]