Utilities Ask For Customers' Help In Cold Snap

The Omaha Public Power District, with M-U-D and the Nebraska Public Power District, asks customers to conserve energy due to the extremely cold weather over the next couple of days.

They say the bitter cold temperatures have increased demand for energy across the Plains region, south into Texas and Oklahoma.

OPPD says, much as it does in summer, high demand can put additional strain on the system, with similar effects now, only this time with record cold instead of heat.

“These prolonged, frigid temperatures are increasing demand for energy across our service territory and for our partner utilities,” said Tim Burke, President and CEO of OPPD. “As they do every day, OPPD employees are working hard, day and night, behind the scenes to keep power flowing to our customers.”

The Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission organization which oversees the power grid for its members including OPPD, is asking all member organizations to begin energy conservation.

SPP has declared an Energy Emergency Alert, and is seeking help from its member organizations to balance what is currently peak demand for winter months.

OPPD recommends:

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees and dress more warmly or use additional blankets to stay comfortable, instead. You can reduce your energy usage by 1-3% for each degree.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Use dampers on the ductwork to balance the airflow in your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. Closing registers should be a last resort if dampers are not available.
  • Do not use a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney in order to fuel the fire.
  • Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Avoid washing and drying clothing or running dishwashers during the coldest parts of the day – typically late night and early morning.
  • Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use.
  • Shut computer monitors off when not in use.
  • Do not just turn off electronics like televisions, DVD, Blu-Ray players, or cable boxes when not in use. Unplug them if possible.

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