Electric companies encourage customers to cut back on usage - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Electric companies encourage customers to cut back on usage

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Just two weeks after TVA set a record for electricity generation, the electric company, and others are gearing up for another stretch of high demand.

This arctic blast means another surge of power usage, which has local companies asking you to cut back where you can.     

"There is really no place that is vulnerable, these things happen as temperatures get down into extreme levels, and the demand gets really high, that stresses some of the equipment out like transformers," said John Pless, EPB Spokesperson.

Pless tells Channel 3 now is the time to unplug those unnecessary items.

"You can unplug all of your rechargeables and things that use phantom power," said Pless.

However, Pless says those items won't make as big of a dent in the power usage, but turning off lights that you're not using will.

EPB is taking its own advice.

"Here at EPB on the fourth floor we've reduced our lighting," said Pless.

Pless also encourages customers to turn down the thermostat.

"Try to reduce your thermostat by a degree or two or three, whatever's comfortable," said Pless.    

He says that reduction will save you money on your electric bill.

"According to the U.S. Department of Energy you're going to save about 3 percent for every degree you bring that thermostat down," said Pless.

He says you'll see even more savings if you lower your thermostat 8 to 10 degrees when you're not at home.

"It's better to reduce that temperature while you're away because studies have shown a home when it is cooler, it loses less heat to the outside environment," said Pless.

College student, Andrew Sanford says he is doing just that to keep his bill low.
"We usually set it at about 60, keep it a little chilly," said Pless. "We're in college; don't have much money, so we're saving a little bit."

Pless says there are also ways to keep the heat inside your home, regardless of the temperature.

"If you have windows that face the south, open the windows and blinds and let that sun radiate heat to help warm your home. The opposite when it gets dark, close the blinds and drapes. It helps keep that cold air from leaking in," said Pless.

Pless also suggests cleaning your air filter, saying it will help your unit run more efficiently.

At this time it isn't mandatory to lower your energy consumption, only voluntary.

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