Utility providers ask you to conserve energy during cold weather

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TENNESSEE VALLEY - With cold temperatures arriving and expected to stay until the weekend, the Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies are working to keep your lights and heat on.

Most importantly, the companies ask that you conserve power where possible.  All consumers – residential, commercial and industrial customers  ̶   are being asked to join in, especially during the coldest period from Wednesday night through noon on Friday.

“As we have done through the last several rounds of cold weather, TVA will use all of our available generating sources to meet the expected high power demand, which will likely peak on Thursday morning,” said Jacinda Woodward, senior vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply. “As consumers of TVA power, we all can step up to help reduce power consumption and lower our own power bills at the same time.”

Saving power in cold weather doesn’t require drastic actions. Simply turning down the thermostat even a single degree can save up to three percent on future power bills. TVA will be following its own advice by lowering thermostats at its office buildings and other facilities, and many local power companies are doing the same.

Reducing consumption during peak times in the morning from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and evening from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. is the best way to help.

Here are some tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand:

  • Opening the blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but keeping the blinds closed on cloudy days and at night.
  • Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment during peak power use times early in the morning and early in the evening.
  • Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.

The utility companies are not anticipating any problems at this time. However crews are on standby.

The companies ask if your power does go out, please turn off your heating system. Once service has been restored, wait 10 to 15 minutes before re-starting your heating system. Please do not resume unnecessary usage until power has been completely restored. A slow return to normal usage will assist crews in maintaining stability throughout the entire electrical system and reduce the possibility of continued or additional outages.

Ice Threat 

Officials with Huntsville Utilities are also watching the threat of ice on Friday. It is a bit early to tell yet what the level of danger for icy conditions in Huntsville Friday, but there is a possibility of ice that could cause headaches for the power company. Officials say they can handle about .25 inches of ice on lines but more than that could cause wide-spread outages. Ice forming on tree branches that fall on overhead power lines is also a concern.