LES asks customers to voluntarily conserve energy

LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System asks customers to take steps to conserve energy in the next 48 hours due to low temperatures that are causing increased electricity and natural gas usage. The higher usage is putting a significant strain on these systems that could cause service reliability issues.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), LES’ regional reliability coordinator, has notified utilities within its regional footprint that energy curtailments may be necessary. Such reductions would be used to balance the supply and demand of electricity in the region.

SPP released a statement today stating, “We have requested that our members and market participants throughout the SPP region conserve energy beginning at 12:00 a.m. central time on Monday, Feb. 15 and for the following 48 hours to mitigate the risk of more widespread and longer-lasting outages… SPP is coordinating closely with our members and market participants to respond to high demand for electricity, inadequate supply of natural gas, and wind-forecast uncertainty among other variables.”

“This is an unprecedented weather event that is impacting our entire region,” said Jason Fortik, LES vice president of Power Supply. “We are coordinating with our partner utilities and doing everything we can to address these challenges and maintain reliable service to our customers.”

To help lower the electric system load, LES asks customers to voluntarily and safely implement one or more of the following tips to help reduce their energy use during this time:

  • Lower your thermostat a few degrees or as low as is comfortable.
  • Make sure air registers are not obstructed by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Open shades and drapes on sunny sides of your home or business during daytime hours. Close them at night.
  • Keep windows tightly latched. Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
  • Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
  • Avoid using a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney to fuel the fire.
  • Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until the demand for electricity decreases.
  • Turn down the temperature setting of your water heater.
  • Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
  • Look for other opportunities in your home or business to reduce the use of electricity and natural gas during this short period.

“We appreciate customers helping us to decrease the demand on our system and our electric grid,” said Fortik.

For additional information on ways to conserve energy, see these energy-saving tips.