The predicted arctic blast with historic low temperatures is leading Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation to ask members to voluntarily reduce electricity usage through Friday.
The cooperative is coordinating with its wholesale power supplier, Duke Energy, to help reduce high-energy demand on the electrical grid and ensure reliable electricity as below freezing temperatures will cause significant spikes in electricity usage due to heating needs.
The most important time to conserve is Thursday and Friday between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when consumer usage is typically at its highest.
Blue Ridge Electric is prepared to meet member demand, however, voluntary reductions will help ensure continued reliability of electric service.
“With record cold temperatures predicted for our area, 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 ask that members 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 or electronics.
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 device.
Use a microwave instead of the oven.
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 your home’s warm air to the outside.
If an outage should occur, please call the cooperative’s PowerLine: 1-800-448-2383. Find other preparedness tips and resources such as an online outage map at the cooperative’s website: www.BlueRidgeEMC.com.