OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Omaha Public Power District said customers might experience planned periodic power outages until the weather normalizes over the next few days.
“The extreme cold is currently causing a strain on our electric system,” OPPD said in a release. “Our regional reliability coordinator is directing its utilities in 17 states, including OPPD, to curtail energy usage in order to balance supply and demand.”
OPPD said controlled, coordinated outages began just after 12 p.m. in the Omaha metro. The outages are based on the amount of load to the system and are carried out on a grid-like approach.
The outages are being done like that to lessen the chances of more prolonged outages later.
Other local utility companies, like Black Hills Energy and Metropolitan Utilities District, are also asking customers to save energy.
OPPD offered the following tips to conserve energy:
- Lower your thermostat a few degrees and dress more warmly or use additional blankets to stay comfortable, instead. You can reduce your energy usage by 1-3% for each degree.
- Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
- Use dampers on the ductwork to balance the airflow in your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. Closing registers should be a last resort if dampers are not available.
- Do not use a wood-burning fireplace for supplemental heating, as it pulls hot air out of a home through the chimney in order to fuel the fire.
- Seal windows and external doors with weather stripping.
- Avoid washing and drying clothing or running dishwashers during the coldest parts of the day – typically late night and early morning.
- Avoid “phantom” power loss:
- Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use.
- Shut computer monitors off when not in use.
- Do not just turn off electronics like televisions, DVD, Blu-Ray players, or cable boxes when not in use. Unplug them if possible.
- A central power strip enables you to turn off multiple devices at once.