Hot Weather Tips, Peak Demand & Cooling Stations

Peak Demand

Cooling Stations & Hours

If you do not have air conditioning at home, the Borough of Madison offers cooling stations for residents in need at the Madison Public Library, the Civic Center and the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building. 

The hours of operation are:

Madison Public Library
39 Keep Street

Monday - Wednesday: 10 A.M. - 9 P.M.
Thursday - Friday: 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Saturday: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Sunday (Summer): Closed 

The Madison Civic Center
28 Walnut Street

Monday - Friday: 8 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Hartley Dodge Memorial Building
50 Kings Road

Monday - Friday: 8 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.

Quick & Simple Tips for Coping with Summer Heat! 



According to the CDC, prevention is the best defense against heat-related illnesses. Here are some tips they offer:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar as these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
  • Infants and young children
  • People aged 65 or older
  • People who have a mental illness
  • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Outdoor Tips


If you must be out in the heat, be sure to:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink 2 to 4 glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

Peak Curtailment

On the very hottest days of the summer, the power companies bring extra power plants on line to satisfy demand. The plants are often the oldest, dirtiest and most inefficient plants in the system. It is very expensive to maintain and operate these plants. 

This increases the cost of electricity significantly. Madison pays $16 million a year for wholesale electricity and of that, over $3 million a year is in peak demand charges. These charges keep the extra power plants open and available during the peak summer days. Learn more about how this peak charge is calculated online.

The Program

We are asking residents and businesses to voluntarily reduce their electric consumption for just a few hours on the hottest days of the year. In doing so, Madison could save $80,000 or more in peak demand charges. These savings could help reduce electric rates and help reduce property taxes.


Notifications are sent out on the 8 or 9 hottest days during the summer, asking residents to voluntarily reduce their electric consumption.

Sign Up

Sign up for Borough Government Announcements  to receive curtailment alerts via text/email.

Strategies to Curtail Your Electric Consumption

  1. Turn off any unnecessary lights and electronics. Unplug any charging units.
  2. Postponing the use of major appliances such as your electric clothes dryer or dish washer until after 7 p.m.
  3. Turn your electric hot water heater to vacation setting.
  4. Reduce your use of Air Conditioning. Two options:
    1. Temporarily raise your air conditioning unit to 77 degrees. This can be programmed into your thermostat.
    2. If your building/home is less efficient and if you are able, an alternate and preferred strategy for air conditioning is to decrease the temperature at noon by 3 degrees to pre-cool the building, then increase the temperature by 3 degrees per hour at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m.
  5. Consider turning down your air conditioner and going to the movies, mall, library or other public building.

For more information about this program, please contact Jim Burnet via email or by phone at 973-593-8496.