Utility companies urging energy conservation ahead of winter weather

With dangerous cold expected later this week, utility companies want you to be prepared.
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 9:14 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - With dangerous cold expected later this week, utility companies want you to be prepared.

Almost two years ago, thousands of Nebraskans woke up without power due to extreme cold because some of those companies had to run rolling outages. Power companies said they aren’t anticipating another round of rolling blackouts, but said it’s important to conserve energy amid freezing temperatures.

In February 2021, Lincoln Electric System said more than 45,000 customers were impacted by rolling blackouts that they and other companies had to perform to preserve energy across the Midwest.

Back then, the extreme cold put a strain on the equipment needed to generate power, and resulted in those outages. Since then, LES said they’ve made improvements to things like their fuel storage and delivery. They’ve weatherized buildings at generation sites to keep operations running during severe cold, and updated the company’s outage map for customers to better prepare for any rolling outages.

For this week, LES and Norris Public Power District said there aren’t any concerns yet about having to do rolling outages. But, people could still lose power or heat for other weather-related reasons and it’s always better to be prepared. LES, NPPD, and Black Hills Energy are encouraging customers to conserve energy now, and in turn it could save you a couple bucks on your monthly bill and a major inconvenience.

“Any little bit that our customers can do to help lower their energy use really goes into the bigger plan of making sure that our lights stay on in Lincoln in the surrounding community,” said Kelly Porter, with LES.

LES, NPPD, and Black Hill Energy said there are simple ways to save energy before the weather gets worse.

-Set your thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting, around 68 degrees.

-Make sure all doors and windows are sealed.

-Clean and change furnace filters.

-Keep vents open.

-Wear more layers so you’re warm without cranking up the heat.