OPPD, MUD, and NPPD ask customers to reduce energy during cold weather

Published: Feb. 14, 2021 at 5:31 PM CST
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COLUMBUS, Neb. (WOWT) - In the midst of the cold weather for the next few days, the Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District, and Metropolitan Utilities District ask customers to reduce energy.

NPPD is asking for customers to voluntarily reduce electric energy immediately starting at midnight, Feb. 15, for the next two days. The voluntary request is for electric customers.

They say the cold weather leads to tightening conditions in the Southwest Power Pool’s service territory which NPPD is a member.

The ways NPPD electric customers can help without putting safety at risk are:

  • Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees and lower at night.
  • Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
  • Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances, computers, and printers.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.)
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system. Consult a licensed electrician.
  • Do not use any grilling equipment for heat indoors. Charcoal and gas grills produce large amounts of carbon monoxide and even small amounts have potentially fatal results.

OPPD is also asking customers to reduce energy for the next couple of days due to the cold weather.

“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.”

Just like NPPD, OPPD is also a member of the Southwest Power Pool. They are also asking customers to start conserving energy by midnight on Sunday.

The SPP declared an Energy Emergency Alert and is asking members and customers to help balance what is currently a peak demand for winter months.

OPPD customers can help out in these ways:

  • 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 by:
  1. Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use.
  2. Shut computer monitors off when not in use.
  3. Do not just turn off electronics like televisions, DVD, Blu-Ray players, or cable boxes when not in use. Unplug them if possible.
  4. A central power strip enables you to turn off multiple devices at once.

MUD is also asking customers to reduce energy in the extremely cold weather to help conserve natural gas supplies.

They are asking for customers to keep the heat down until Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 a.m.

Customers can help conserve energy by:

  • If you are healthy enough to do so, turn down your thermostat by 3 degrees. (Note: Older adults may want to raise the thermostat to prevent hypothermia).
  • To help stay warm, wear a sweater or other layers of clothing.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Leave curtains, blinds, and/or shades open in direct sunlight to warm the room and close them at night to prevent heat loss through the windows.
  • To avoid frozen pipes, allow heat to circulate around meters and pipes located near outside walls, in uninsulated cabinets or other enclosed areas.
  • Where previous freeze-ups have been a problem, a slight trickle of water from the faucet may keep a pipe from freezing.

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