Omaha Public Power District has asked all of its customers to conserve energy due to the extremely cold weather we are experiencing now and over the next couple of days. Here is an article from Jodi Baker from OPPD explaining why this is so important:
The bitter cold temperatures have increased demand for energy across the Plains region, even south into Texas and Oklahoma. Much as it does in summer, high demand can put additional strain on our system. We are seeing 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 (SPP), the regional transmission organization who oversees the power grid for its members – of which OPPD is one – is asking all member organizations to begin energy conservation measures by 11:59 p.m., Sunday. SPP declared an Energy Emergency Alert as record cold conditions across the region, and is seeking help from its member organizations to balance what is currently peak demand for winter months.
Such conservation measures are expected to take place for the next few days as Arctic cold continues across the region.
How customers can help
Customers can help by taking steps to reduce our service territory’s peak energy load and help balance supply and demand in the energy market.
- 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.
- Avoid “phantom” power loss:
- 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.
- A central power strip enables you to turn off multiple devices at once.
For more energy conservation information, including guidance on reducing energy for each room in your home, to an energy usage calculator, and other tips, visit oppd.com. There, you will also find a video library to walk you through ways to make your home more energy efficient, step by step.