At the request of the Southwest Power Pool, Evergy is asking customers to conserve electricity use as much as possible through Wednesday, Feb. 17. The SPP, which coordinates the 17-state regional power supply, advises that the region’s coldest weather in decades is creating a high demand for electricity. At the same time, the extreme weather is driving high demand for natural gas used to heat homes and businesses, straining the gas supply available to generate electricity, and icy conditions have made the availability of wind generation uncertain. The SPP has advised that the unprecedented low temperatures across a wide region creates the potential for electricity shortages and has asked all utilities in the region to encourage customers to reduce electricity usage in order to maintain electricity supply overall and avoid potential power outages.
“Our Evergy employees are working around the clock to manage our power plants and power lines. But even with reliable operations, the extreme cold is driving high demand for electricity and straining natural gas supplies, requiring all the utilities in the region to ask for customers’ help in conserving energy until the temperatures warm up later this week,” said Kevin Bryant. Evergy’s Chief Operating Officer. “Everybody doing their part to save electricity the next few days will help us make sure the power supply continues to best serve the region’s needs.”
All customers can help, and can lower their bills, by taking the following steps, if they can do so safely:
- Turn thermostats a little cooler (65-68 degrees). Avoid the use of electric space heaters.
- Close blinds and shades to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Change or clean filters on furnaces.
- Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances in your home.
- When possible, use large appliances (clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers) between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
- Reduce air leaks that let cold air in by sealing around doors and windows with weatherstripping or caulk and inserting foam gaskets on electrical switches and outlets.
- Businesses should reduce the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
- Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential processes.
Evergy began preparing for the extreme weather early last week by planning for additional fuel needs and increasing 24/7 staffing levels. The proactive preparations have the company’s system handling the current demand and well-positioned to maintain reliable operations for its contribution to the region’s power needs. Evergy has reduced electricity use at its facilities, implemented cold-weather procedures, and adapted operations at its power plants to keep equipment working and fuel available to generate electricity for customers.