The electrical grid is working hard to keep everyone warm as temperatures dip into single digits. Chelan PUD wants customers to consider some ways to stay safe, manage energy use and protect water pipes from freezing.
Chelan PUD anticipates that peak energy demand in Chelan County this week may set a new record for the utility. The current record -- 491 megawatts – was set the morning of Jan. 5, 2017, when temperatures were -1 Fahrenheit.
“Our distribution system is designed to handle zero-degree temperatures, plus reserve capacity. We expect to come close this week without dipping into our reserves,” said Chad Rissman, director of distribution assets.
As the demand for electricity increases, so does stress on the equipment that delivers electricity. Chelan PUD has suspended non-critical maintenance projects planned for this week to ensure that if the lights go out, crews will be ready to restore power as quickly as possible.
Here are some tips to prevent your electric bill from getting out of hand during this cold spell AND help reduce stress on the electrical system:
- Cozy up with a sweater, not the thermostat. Turn your heat down 1-2 degrees, or the lowest temperature you are comfortable with, and put a sweater and/or blankets on yourself.
- Let the sun in during the day but close your drapes at night. Take advantage of that solar heat gain but eliminate the heat loss after the sun goes down.
- Heat where you are. If using baseboards or zonal heating, only heat parts of the home that you will be using.
- Check your water heating settings. Do not have the thermostat set above 125 degrees.
- Eliminate drafts from doors. Use a door draft stopper/guard or just a blanket to prevent unwanted heat loss. Minimize how often you are going in/out of your home.
If you’re concerned about water pipes freezing:
- Consider letting a cold-water faucet drip continuously when the weather is at its coldest.
- Know the location of the water shut-off valve in your home. Check to make sure it works.
- Open cupboard doors under sinks, especially where plumbing is in outside walls, to let interior heat warm the pipes.
If the power does go out, call us 24/7 at 877-783-8123 to report the outage and get updates. These tips can help keep you and your family safe, as well as help PUD crews safely restore service as quickly as possible:
- Turn off all but one light – on the porch or inside where it can be seen from the street – so you and PUD crews know when power is restored.
- Never use fuel-burning devices, like gasoline-powered generators, gasoline-powered pressure washers, camp stoves and lanterns, or charcoal grills inside, or in any confined space, or within 10 feet of windows, doors or other air intakes. Using these items in your home can produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
- Prevent cold-load pickup: Wait 10 minutes after power is restored before turning on major appliances to ease the load on the system.
DO NOT go near, touch or try to move any lines on the ground or trees tangled in them – stay far away!
If you plan to use a portable generator, make sure you plug appliances directly into the generator. Or, make sure your home is disconnected from the PUD’s electric system with a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.
Find more tips on “weathering” a cold snap at chelanpud.org/ColdWeatherTips.
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Here for you, providing the best for the most for the longest – chelanpud.org