Struggling to stay cool during Vermont’s heat wave

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More than a dozen stores across Burlington are fresh out of AC units and Vermonters are scrambling for cold air.

Last Friday, Bibens Ace Hardware was fully stocked with AC units and now there is not one in sight.

“We started with over 50 air conditioners, which is quite a bit for a store our size. We blew through those by Sunday morning…we sold our last ones,” said Manager of Bibens Ace Hardware, Andy Bergeron, 

Sales for air conditioning units are skyrocketing. 

“It’s been really crazy we’ve tried really hard to have enough product on hand to service our customers but this heat wave has, has helped us sell over a season worth of product in over a week,” said Bergeron.

They recently rolled out a new program using Tesla Powerwalls batteries, along with other battery storage systems.

“This is the first year we’ve got a significant number of batteries deployed. This was the first of its kind of partnership in the country and we’re partnering with customers to install these systems. They can act as emergency backup systems if there is an outage and then we can utilize them by sharing access in these peak times,” said GMP Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Josh Castonguy.

Castonguy put the whole new plan in perspective, “think of it like the equivalent of taking, you know, 5,000 homes off of the grid during the time of the peak. That’s sort of what we can do with the battery system.”

And during this heatwave, GMP reminds everyone to conserve electricity by avoiding using major appliances until after 8 pm.

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