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Brownouts shock users

If your power cut-off and on throughout the night Tuesday, you're not alone.

FortisBC says high power demand combined with high winds caused intermittent 'brown outs' throughout Kelowna.

Spokesman, Michael Allison, says brown outs ran from about 5:30 until 9:30 p.m..

He says it was a combination of usage and mother nature.

"One was the high demand on the system - since it's hot there were a lot of air conditioners running. And, due to winds, crews had to remove trees that were on the line."

"Essentially when you take part of the lines out with trees more demands are placed on the rest of the system. That combined with high demand resulted in unstable levels."

Castanet readers were upset with the service drop-outs.

"We know what Fortis’ explanation will be: With everyone arriving at home after work, and turning all of their air conditioners and other appliances on at the same time, and due to the excessive heat wave we are currently experiencing, events like this will happen. BS! How about a better explanation? Your infrastructure is feeble, the system needs upgrading, and you are truly sorry for being so inept at carrying out your duties as a sole source supplier of electrical services in this city," writes Denis Hostland.

Greg Harris says, "Upper Mission electricity failed over twenty times last night.  We have never seen so many failures in one evening."

The system is working as it should today, but with temperatures expected to reach the high 20s and 30s, for the foreseeable future, Allison says people should take steps to ease energy consumption; especially during peak times between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

"Our system is equipped to handle high demand but we do recommend that customers maybe use energy efficient light bulbs or making their homes more energy efficient," says Allison.

He also suggests closing drapes, curtains and blinds in the morning before going to work to prevent your home from being heated by the sun during the day and cooling only the rooms being used.

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