Rolling electricity blackouts avoided due to reduced consumption

Rolling blackouts were avoided Thursday due to early power supply warnings and reduced consumption.

That is according to officials with Citizens Electric Company (CEC).

Thursday, the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) alerted utilities across the Midwest that there could be an unexpected power supply shortage due to excessive electricity consumption.

As a result of warnings and reduced usage, CEC's distribution system load dropped more than 17 megawatts (MW), a very significant 6.7 percent decrease, which prevented a new record peak for July.

The utility's all-time system peak occurred last August when the maximum supplied to members at one time was 277.5 megawatts (277,500,000 watts).

Although a warning has not been issued for Friday, CEC encourages members to be conservative about their electric usage during these extremely hot days.

Reducing your usage during peak summer months helps reduce the amount of electricity CEC's power supplier must buy from the market when costs are the highest. Officials say it also helps lower your own electric bill.

Here are some tips from CEC:

-Set your thermostat at the highest comfortable temperature—76 degrees or higher—and keep it there.  Use fans to keep air moving.

-Postpone the use of major appliances, such as clothes dryers and dishwashers, until late in the evening or early in the morning.

-Turn off all unnecessary lights, unplug any computers, television sets, stereo equipment and other appliances that may be on but aren't in use.

-Close drapes and blinds on the sunny side of the house.

-Keep the doors to your refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible.

-Make sure the filter on your air conditioner is clean and vents are clear of furniture or other objects that might block air flow.

-Use your microwave instead of a conventional oven.

-If your water heater runs on electricity, limit your use of hot water.

-Avoid opening exterior doors as much as possible to keep the cooled, conditioned air inside where it belongs.

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