Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tideland Electric Membership Corporation has issued an emergency energy conservation alert for Thursday and Friday mornings, February 19 and 20, as temperatures dip into the single digits. Electric co-op members in Beaufort, Craven, Pamlico, Washington, Hyde and Dare counties are asked to shift discretionary energy tasks, like laundry, water heating, baking, and dishwashing, to the warmest part of the day. Doing so will help prevent overloads of utility resources which in turn could lead to brownouts or power outages.
This is the first time in over a decade that Tideland has requested voluntary conservation during an extreme weather event but given the widespread nature of the arctic blast co-op officials feel it is better to be safe than sorry.

“It can be very challenging to restore power to a large group of consumers during extreme temperatures like those we will see in the next forty-eight hours,” said Tideland EMC chief executive officer Paul Spruill. “That’s why we decided to issue a call for conservation measures which in turn have the added benefit of saving consumers energy and money.”

Ways consumers can help “Beat the Peak” Thursday and Friday mornings:
*       Postpone non-essential tasks to a later time such as washing and drying clothes
*       Cut your water heater off between the hours of 5 am and 9 am
*       Avoid dishwasher use until the warmest part of the day
*       Don’t use your oven to bake in the morning
*       If you normally shower or bathe in the morning consider doing so the night before
*       Set your heating thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the morning hours
*       Shut off hot tubs until the weather warms on Saturday

Energy saving cold weather tips:
*       Heat pump owners: check your thermostat and make sure it is not in the emergency, auxiliary or E-heat setting
*       Make sure central system thermostats are in the auto setting and not in manual mode which results in unnecessary operation of the unit’s fan
*       Make sure all crawlspace vents are closed
*       If you have storm windows make sure both sets are closed and air tight
*       Remove window air conditioning units so you can fully close and seal windows
*       If you are not using your central HVAC system make sure registers and returns are sealed shut. Don’t shut individual rooms registers if the system is operating. Doing so increases duct leakage.
*       Close dampers when fireplaces aren’t in use. Using a fireplace when temperatures are below 50°F will result in net heat losses.
*       Rather than turn up the thermostat bring the warmth to you by layering clothing, using electric blankets and throws, and consuming warm liquids.

If you notice that lights start to dim or flicker shut off as many electric items as possible to reduce the likelihood of an outage.

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