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Consumers urged to conserve energy

Article was added on Thursday, February 19, 2015

Historic demand for electricity in S.C. predicted Friday morning - consumers urged to conserve energy in their homes. 

Record low temperatures across South Carolina tonight will put heavy demand on the electricity grid as consumers use more energy to keep warm.

For the state's electric cooperatives, electricity demand Thursday morning during the peak use hours of 6-9 a.m. approached all-time records. Energy consumption Friday morning is predicted to increase, possibly creating historic demands for power.

"The demands on our power systems overnight could be unprecedented," said James Lamb, senior vice president of planning and power supply at Central Electric Power Cooperative, which provides wholesale electricity to all 20 of the South Carolina's member-owned cooperatives.

Persistent low temperatures throughout today combined with bitter cold tomorrow morning create conditions for record use of power.

Governor Nikki Haley asked residents to use as little electricity possible to lessen strains and stress on the state's power supply systems. "Our state will experience the coldest weather of the season with wind chills near zero degrees, and we encourage everyone to manage through this challenge together," Gov. Haley said Wednesday.

The Arctic air mass that invaded South Carolina Wednesday evening did not create disruptions in the delivery of electricity by electric cooperatives. Power planners hope consumers can proactively conserve power over the next 24 hours to maintain service reliability.

"If all of us follow a few simple steps to conserve energy, the benefits are substantial," said Mike Couick, president and CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina. "Lowering the thermostat overnight or taking a quick morning shower are two simple ways consumers can help decrease the high demand that's forecast."

South Carolina's electric cooperatives suggest consumers follow these steps to use less electricity:

  • Turn off non-essential internal and external lights

  • Unplug non-essential appliances and devices

  • Set thermostats on 68 degrees or lower

  • Take shorter showers or baths than normal. Electric water heaters use significant amounts of power.

  • Ensure heating vents are open and unobstructed
  • Limit use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers from 6-9 a.m.

Consumers interested in learning additional ways to conserve energy and lower their electricity use will discover money-saving ideas at

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