COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Utility providers in Mid-Missouri are advising users to cut back on their energy use at least through the end of the week to avoid rolling blackouts.
Meredith Hoenes with Boone Electric Cooperative said the utility informed its members through a Facebook post Monday of energy-saving suggestions.
Hoenes said the rolling blackouts that have happened throughout the country and in Kansas City and southwest Missouri are caused by all-time high peak demand for energy in those areas. Energy providers try to prepare for spikes in demand, but arctic air blanketing the country's midsection has pushed the need even higher.
Boone Electric is apart of the Associated Electric Cooperative. That company's energy levels are still above the minimum requirements needed to avoid blackouts. Hoenes said Boone is asking its members to conserve energy to stay above those requirements.
Energy saving tactics include:
- Turning down thermostats a few degrees and using a blanket or warm clothing
- Limiting the use of larger appliances such as washers, dryers or dishwashers
- Using smaller kitchen appliances such as toaster ovens, microwaves and slow cookers to make meals
- Turning off and unplugging space heaters that aren't needed or reducing their use
- Closings fireplace dampers when not in use
- Unplugging/turning off unused electronics, chargers and lights
Matthew Nestor with The City of Columbia Utilities said they are advising their consumers to do these energy-saving tactics, but they are not anticipating any issues at this time.
Kerry Cordray with Missouri Public Utilities Alliance said the best way to save energy is to keep thermostats low. He recommends making sure heating vents are not blocked and doors and windows are well-sealed.
Cordray said natural gas supply issues have helped spark the power crunch seen in many areas. He said his organization is calling for energy conservation so outages don't spread.
The Mid-Missouri area is part of a different regional power supplier than the Southwest Power Pool, which covers areas including Kansas City.
Texas, where blackouts are widespread, has its own system called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
"If you don't want to lose your heating, and your lighting, and your electricity for even 30 minutes today, then why not just drop your degrees a little bit," Hoenes said.
Boone is asking its members to continue conserving energy through the end of this week.