You know what is really bad for an electrical utility? Weeks of triple digit temperatures, nighttime temperatures that don't allow for a cool down of infrastructure, and huge numbers of people staying at home all day and using huge amounts of electricity.

On Thursday afternoon, El Paso Electric was inundated with calls from people all over town reporting power outages. The calls began to flood El Paso Electric around 3 o'clock Thursday afternoon and what began as about 8,500 customers affected soon grew to an outage that was hitting almost 14,000 customers by 3:45. While most of the outages seemed to be clustered in the east and far east parts of town, there were other reports of power outages hitting the northeast area of town as well.

Considering yesterday saw a high well into the triple digits, even a short power outage can cause a lot of discomfort as your home heats up with air-conditioning. EPE crews were able to restore power to affected customers by 5:40 p.m., but why did it happen in the first place?

According to a statement from El Paso Electric because the daytime heat doesn't dissipate during the overnight hours, infrastructure doesn't properly cool down and then when the daytime heating happens again, it causes that equipment to overheat and damage electrical equipment. That leads to power outages.

You can help by using less electricity. Don't run your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, or other major appliances during the day. Keep your house cooler by closing blinds and curtains during the day so you won't have to run your A/C so much. We all know how to use less electricty - it's up to us to take those steps so we don't see the kind of power outages that we did on Thursday.