At the request of its wholesale power provider, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation is asking members to voluntarily reduce electricity usage for the next 24 hours due to extreme cold temperatures that will cause significant spikes in electricity usage primarily due to heating needs.
The most important time to conserve is Thursday from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., when consumer usage is typically at its highest.
Blue Ridge Electric is coordinating with its wholesale power supplier, Duke Energy, and is prepared to meet member demand; however, voluntary reductions will help ensure continued reliability of electric service.
“With severe cold predicted for tonight and Thursday across much of the nation, demand for heating is significantly increased by thousands of households and businesses which could cause a strain on the electric delivery system,” said Renee Whitener, public relations director for Blue Ridge Electric. “We’re working with our wholesale power supplier to ask our members to take steps to conserve so that we all get through the cold snap with the most reliable electric service,” she added.
Conservation tips include:
- Reduce household thermostats to the lowest comfortable setting when home, and reduce it even further at night or when not at home. On sunny days, open blinds to let the sun help heat your home. Be sure to close them at night.
- Turn off any unnecessary lights.
- Wait until the weekend to do household chores that require electricity.
- Unplug cellphone and other chargers when not in use. These continue to use electricity even when not charging your phone or tablet.
- Use a microwave instead of the oven. Grilling outdoors may be an option.
- Keep warm air inside the home by ensuring doors, windows, and other areas that can let in cold air, are caulked or have weather stripping.
- Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
- Use kitchen, bath, and other ventilation fans only as long as needed to reduce pulling warm air outside.
If an outage should occur, Blue Ridge Electric is ready. Please report it to the cooperative’s PowerLine: 1-800-448-2383. Find other tips and an online outage map at the cooperative’s website: www.BlueRidgeEMC.com.