Cities urge everyone to conserve power during heat wave

SOUTHERN UTAH – With temperatures projected to reach in excess of 110 degrees in coming days, residents and businesses are encouraged to conserve electrical power during peak-energy hours in order to help alleviate any potential strain on electrical systems serving area municipalities.

Washington City issued an advisory over social media Thursday regarding power conservation as outlined in the Dixie Conservation Alert Program, asking residents to avoid high electrical usage between the peak hours of 2-8 p.m.

René Fleming, conservation coordinator for the City of St. George, is asking St. George residents to do the same.

High-energy use “strains the electrical system,” Fleming said, and described “high-energy use” as running large appliances like a dishwasher or laundry equipment, while also having the air conditioning going.

Using the oven during peak hours is also highly discouraged because it will heat up the home and add to the power required by the air conditioner to keep the home cool. Heating and cooking of food is recommended to be done using a microwave or an outside grill.

In particular, it is requested that air conditioning units be set at 78 degrees or higher during peak hours if possible.

Though there hasn’t been a major power outage in recent memory due to the electrical system overloading, Fleming said, using less energy during peak hours will nonetheless relieve pressure on the system. “It’s like a water hose,” she said, “you can only put so much water through a hose.”

Still, higher energy demands coupled with rising temperatures can and do strain the system occasionally.

“Be aware of how you use energy,” Fleming said.

Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager, said St. George has often taken a proactive approach in dealing with higher energy demands during the summer by purchasing additional power before the increased demand kicks in. The city also supplies extra power to customers by using its own generators when necessary.

Power outages experienced by the city over the last few years have typically been caused by external factors, Mortensen said, like wildfires or even traffic accidents involving electrical equipment rather than internal strain.

Currently no mandates concerning decreasing power usage have been issued by the City of St. George. “These are just guidelines,” Mortensen said.

Washington City issued a “yellow alert” for energy conversation based on the Dixie Conservation Alert Program.  While a number of the items related to a yellow energy conservation alert have been already been mentioned, a complete list of this segment of the energy conservation program is provided below:

  • Avoid using electricity during peak hours (2-8 p.m.), especially large appliances.
  • When air conditioning is used, set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher (if health permits).
  •  Cook in a microwave oven or on an outdoor grill instead of using the electric oven.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights and electronic equipment.
  • Avoid high electrical uses during the peak hours of the day. Run the dishwasher and laundry equipment during nonpeak hours.
  • Operate swimming pool pumps during nonpeak hours. You can save energy while maintaining water quality and temperature by using a smaller, higher-efficiency pump and operating it less.
  • Commercial customers are asked to reduce lighting load by 50 percent where possible.

A complete list covering green, yellow and red energy conservation alerts can be found here.

Related:

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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15 Comments

  • Dan Lester June 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    We ALWAYS keep our AC set at 78. Never have understood those who set it to 68 or 70 and then bundle up inside in the summer.

  • $$$$$ June 27, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hell no 78 is still to hot my whole family sweats our asses off at anything over 72 or 73 degrees I can definitely follow the guidlines except the ac thing…

  • Sam June 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    My Overweight Sister Has her AC at 68 and Everyone else freezes Due to extra body fat she is Hotter then everyone else. We also keep ours at 78

  • Dan Lester June 27, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Well, to each their own. We wear minimal clothes (t shirt and shorts) and have ceiling fans. We find 78 just fine.

  • Roy J June 27, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Am I reading that right? Does this really say “Dear Citizens: during peak energy hours which also happens to be the hottest hours of the day, please turn OFF the air conditioning? Did the city call WalMart and ask them to turn off their lights and air conditioning? If I don’t turn it down, am I going to see a Peak Energy Hours surcharge on my next utility bill? Most importantly, what is a yellow alert for energy conversation anyways?

  • DoubleTap June 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I utilize ceiling fans most of the summer. Although they use electricity, they are more cost efficient to operate than an a/c. I do use the a/c but not as much with the fans. Best investment I made on the fans.

  • lucky1of5 June 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Um their joking right? It gets up.to 115 degrees here and conserving energy during the hours of 2 and 8 pm? Uh those are the hours where the heat is at it’s peak. That’s like asking an alcoholic to not drink alcohol between the hours of 5 pm and 12 midnight…freaking idiotic people what does it matter what we set our AC’s at? We are the ones footin out money for the bill and not everyone can function properly having their AC at 75-78 degrees. Growing up it was always set at 65 degrees during the summer and it’s perfect

  • L Scott Larsen June 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    These same idiots that keep it at 68-70 in summer, have the thermostat on 85+ in the winter. I figure if you like it 85 in winter 85 in summer is good too.

  • L Scott Larsen June 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    But I do have to say to each his own, I dread the day the Obamaites start forcing even more of their progressive ways on us. I wonder if they will ask those that plug their cars in at night to knock that crap off?

    • Ron June 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Geez! Can’t we even have a discussion about energy conservation without some obsessive political junkie dragging Obama into it?

      • Dr Andrew White June 28, 2013 at 7:41 am

        Some variant of Godwin’s Law, I suppose.

      • Dixielambs June 28, 2013 at 9:01 am

        Ron, I think that Mr Larsen’s statement is a bit off topic, but his point is spot on, and agrees with my view of the proper roll of government, which is: to disseminate information and harness the intelligence, creativity and good will of citizens to do the appropriate thing. This “Libertarian” outlook conflicts sharply with “Progressive” thinking which presupposes that government officials know what is best and should dictate what how subjects to that government must behave.

        That said, I, also, find 78 degrees quite comfortable if fans are also used to keep the air stirred

  • Bobbert June 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

    78? Are you kiddin me? If I wanted schweddy ballz I’d just go outside.

  • Bobbart June 28, 2013 at 12:51 am

    78? Are you kiddin me? If I wanted schweddy ballz I’d just go outside.

  • Troll June 28, 2013 at 5:20 am

    I’ll have to agree with Mr. Lester, 78 is a good temperature setting and having ceiling fans, or table fans is a good way of cooling a home, 68 – 70? what the hell? As over weighted and chubby I am, 68 – 76 will freeze my ass off. People that sets their home a/c at low temperatures need to learn how to wear light clothing during summers like t-shirts and short pants… hell even during winter, I wear light clothing, only time I wear heavy clothing for warmth is when I leave the comforts of my home. Maybe if people start wearing light clothing during summers, doesn’t matter if they are over weight or not, maybe they’ll learn how to conserve power usage.

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