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Blue Ridge Energy Implements Rolling Blackouts to Reduce Use of Electricity During Extreme Cold

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Last Updated on December 24, 2022 10:31 am

UPDATE 10:30 am from Blue Ridge Energy – The rolling blackouts have ended. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we worked to do our part in reducing electricity load at the emergency request of Duke Energy.

IF you remain without power, please report the outage at 1-800-448-2383, on the mobile app or via outage texting.


Lenoir, NC (12/24) – Blue Ridge Energy has been forced to implement rolling blackouts to reduce their use of electricity due to a generation capacity emergency caused by the extreme cold. 

These blackouts will occur on a rolling basis, affecting members in each Blue Ridge Energy district for one hour at a time.  

At the request of Duke Energy, Blue Ridge Energy is reducing power demand on the system. Failure to reduce the power demand may lead to instability on the regional power grid. 

Blue Ridge Energy’s members in the affected areas are requested to reduce the rebound effect on demand by adhering to the following guidelines where appropriate, but not to the point where life or health are endangered: 

  1. Turn off all motors and lights until after the power is restored. 
  2. Slowly over the next hour after power is restored, turn on only the needed appliances.
  3. Lower thermostat setting to the lowest comfortable setting
  1. Reduce water heater temperatures to 120 degrees 
  2. Delay dishwashing and clothes washing until after the power emergency hours 
  3. Minimize the use of lights 
  4. Delay any other use of electricity until after the daytime power emergency hours if possible and safe 
  5. Be prepared to implement these power reduction measures again in following days if required 

Alan Merck, Chief Operating Officer for Blue Ridge Energy, said, “We apologize for any inconvenience this emergency situation may have on our members, but we have to reduce our power demand in the affected area to ensure the safety and stability of the transmission grid. We urge every member to participate in this volunteer effort to help avoid additional power outages after power is restored. At Blue Ridge Energy, we have a strong history of working together, and I thank our members in advance for stepping forward in this emergency situation.” 

Blue Ridge Energy is a member–owned electric cooperative providing power to some 78,000 consumers in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Wilkes, Alexander and Avery counties. For more information, visit www.blueridgeenergy.com or the cooperative’s social media on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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