UPDATE: Utility companies urging people to conserve energy during cold snap
Utility companies urging customers to conserve their energy consumption to save money and prevent interruptions in service.
UPDATE: It might seem a little counterintuitive that a utility company is asking their customers to conserve energy during these extremely cold days but officials say it's so important because with more people using power it could cause some outages.
The TVA and other utility companies are asking customers to be mindful of their energy consumption during this cold snap. On New Year’s Day, customers in the Tennessee valley broke a record for energy consumption on a holiday.
"And as a result, New Year’s Day was our record holiday low that over 28,000 megawatts making that number 21 on our overall list,” said TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler.
That’s about 10,000 megawatts higher than the average winter day. The arctic blast is causing bone-chilling conditions for millions of Americans, the dangerously cold weather, combined with wind chills near or below zero, will cause a spike in power demands around the seven-state region serviced by the TVA. With more demand, you could see a spike in your energy bill. It is that demand that has officials encouraging people to conserve.
"So we don't have to turn on additional power plants to supply energy at a higher cost. If we can keep cost low, we keep energy rates low in the valley,” Fiedler explained.
TVA is urging people to limit non-essential electricity usage during the extreme cold. This doesn't mean turn off your heat, instead conserve for the greater good because a power surge could cause outages or interruptions in power service.
"We have additional plants but if we can keep those plants offline it helps save money and ensures we don't have to buy power from other utilities at a higher cost,” he said.
Three ways you can save energy:
- Turn down your thermostat: Lowering the temperature just one to two degrees can make a big difference and save you money.
- Consider reducing the usage of electric appliances, such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.
- And turning off non-essential lights, and other electronics can help too.
The last time TVA asked utility customers to conserve electricity during the winter was two years ago in 2015.
With the cold weather in the forecast for the next several days, officials don't want an outage to leave anyone left in the cold.
The "power supply alert" will remain in effect for the TVA service area until further notice.
PREVIOUS STORY: Cleveland Utilities is urging their customers to conserve energy during wintery conditions.
The utility company says they were notified by TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) that they are enacting part of their "Emergency Load Curtailment Program", this means they are asking customers to immediately reduce non-essential electricity usage as much as possible.
Cleveland Utilities says customers can conserve their water heater by limiting laundry and running the dishwasher.
This tip can reduce consumption the utility company says as it will help avoid interruptions of service during peak demand, which tends to spike in the overnight and early morning hours.