Historic Cold Temperatures May Create Record Demand for Electricity
Article was added on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Carolina's electric cooperatives and other utilities are warning
that all-time low temperatures forecast for Thursday and Friday
mornings may result in a record demand for electricity.
Predicted temperatures in the pre-dawn hours Thursday range from
single digits in the Upstate to the low teens in the Midlands and
Pee Dee. Below freezing temperatures are also forecast for the
Lowcountry. All South Carolina counties are under a wind chill
advisory from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 1 p.m. Thursday. Wind chill
values in the Upstate could dip below zero both mornings.
Historically, cold weather creates the highest residential
electricity use in South Carolina. The most critical hours for
utilities supplying power are the hours from 6-9 a.m. when demand
is at its peak.
"We have enough (power) capacity to meet our demand," said David
Logeman, director of power supply at Central Electric Power
Cooperative in Columbia, which provides wholesale electricity to
all 20 of the South Carolina's member-owned cooperatives. "However,
weather events like this mean our system will probably operate at
maximum capacity over an extended period."
Consumers are urged to be mindful of their energy use during the
hours of peak demand.
"If each household follows a few simple steps to conserve
electricity, those reductions will have a meaningful impact," said
Mike Couick, president and CEO of The Electric Cooperatives of
South Carolina. "Using less power means less stress on our systems
and increased reliability of service."
Consumers can use less power by following these steps in their
• Turn off all but essential internal and external lights
• Unplug non-essential appliances and devices
• Set thermostats on 68 degrees or lower
• Minimize or postpone hot water use
• Ensure heating and air conditioning vents are open and
• Limit use of major power-consuming equipment such as
dishwashers, washers, and dryers from 6-9 a.m.
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