Energy Cooperative Issues Peak Alert, Asks Customers To Conserve

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UPDATED: Monday January 27, 2014 6:56 PM

The Energy Cooperative is one of about two dozen around the state that provide electricity, natural gas and propane to rural customers.

Todd Ware and his staff at The Energy Cooperative are closely watching the latest information coming in from their network of sensors, tracking the usage of thousands of electricity customers.

"This top line is tomorrow, and how much different it's projected for tomorrow, and obviously that's the weather that's coming,” explained Ware.

A white line shows projected power usage, and officials say because of what they are seeing, a peak alert is being issued for Tuesday between 7 and 10 a.m.

Ware says it has nothing to do with a power shortage.  He says it’s an appeal to customers to conserve energy.

"What we're trying to do is keep our demand down,” said Ware. "What we're trying to do is ask them, ‘Hey - you need to help us, so we can help you keeps costs down.’"

Another way to stay below that peak level is by implementing what they call a load control adjustment.

Those controlling the flow of electricity will actually turn off customers' water heaters remotely during the peak time, with the help of a special device attached to the water heater.

Jack Schmidt is a cooperative board member and a customer himself.  He has one of the attachments.

They are voluntary, and those who have them, get an additional rebate.

"Unless we come down and look and see the switch is activated, we don't miss having the electricity,” said Schmidt.

"Occasionally, we'll get a call where somebody will say, ‘Hey, I had a cold shower, and I don't like it,’ but generally, people don't notice it,” said Ware.

The Energy Cooperative says besides the 7-10am peak alert scheduled for Tuesday morning, the utility may also ask for another peak alert later that day, between 6pm and 9pm.

The Energy Cooperative serves 24,000 electricity customers, but also 30,000 natural gas customers. One important thing you can do to keep your family safe is to make sure the ice and snow are cleared away from your gas meter.

This will help prevent any dangerous fumes from getting into your home.

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