AEP Texas asking Valley residents to conserve energy due to cold weather
POSTED: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 3:31pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 5:28pm
AUSTIN, TX — With cold weather persisting in the Rio Grande Valley, AEP Texas is joining with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)in asking that electric consumers take steps to conserve energy this evening.
“We are projecting higher than normal usage of electricity tonight due to the lingering cold temperatures,” said Tom Coad, AEP Texas manager of distribution systems for the Rio Grande Valley. “This higher usage, in turn, can strain the electric transmission and distribution system and lead to possible load shedding if demand outstrips our capability to meet that demand,” he said.
According to Coad, simple actions like lowering thermostats to 68 degrees, turning small space heaters to their lowest setting and holding off on using major appliances such as washers and dryers, particularly in the evening hours, will go a long way toward preventing possible problems.
“We’re always pleased with the response from consumers in situations like this,” said Coad, “and things should not be any different in this case. If everyone will reduce their usage just a little bit, we all should be just fine.”
“We’d also like to remind everyone that space heaters and similar equipment are the leading cause of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association,” said Coad.
Most accidents involving space heaters are the result of human error such as heaters being placed too close to combustible material like drapes and furniture. Improperly maintained equipment is another contributing cause.
AEP Texas serves approximately one million electric consumers in the deregulated Texas marketplace. As an energy delivery (wires) company, AEP Texas delivers electricity safely and reliably to homes, businesses and industry across its nearly 100,000 square mile service territory in west and south Texas. AEP Texas also builds new power lines, restores service following outages and handles electric metering REPs throughout its service territory. The company also connects or disconnects service upon the orders of the REPs.
AEP has a few simple steps residents and businesses can do to avoid rolling blackouts and power outages in their neighborhood.
Energy Conservation Tips:
• Lower thermostats to 68 degrees.
• Avoid using major appliances such as washers and dryers in the evening hours.
• Set energy-saving features on office equipment to put them into sleep mode when not in use.
• Turn small space heaters to their lowest setting.
Heater Safety Tips:
• Keep flammable items and young children away from the heat source.
• If you are using a gas heater, ensure it is working properly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Do not use outdoor cooking utensils or your oven in your kitchen for heat.
• Do not burn charcoal or wood indoors.
• Ensure you have a working smoke alarm. Many fires every year are caused by faulty heaters or unsafe methods.