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.
- Heat advisory; what to do when it reaches 105-115 degrees
- St. George implements drought management water conditions
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