Westerville power provider asks users to conserve energy in frigid temperatures

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Utility officials in Westerville are asking neighbors to ease up on the heat because the city is expected to hit peak electric consumption.

The city says it's trying to save the community some money on electric bills in the future, but to do that they'll have to turn down the thermostat.

Some of the public power provider's customers say they'll try and save energy where they can.

Even inside Buckeye Brew Craft, employee Avery Barr is layered up.

"There is a lot of people coming in and out, me, I just wear a lot of leather and a lot of layers," Barr said.

Barr says staying busy helps keep him warm too, especially in single digit temperatures.

"I'm carrying 50-pound grain bags out to people's cars sometimes," Barr said.

The fermentation store has the heat on, the lights on, and always keeps the hops cool.

It takes a lot of electricity to keep the business going, but Barr says they'll try and save where they can.

"Just turn off the lights after 7 p.m. Close up," Barr said.

Westerville's public power provider is asking its customers to conserve energy because the frigid weather is creating a peak in usage.

"During winter months in the morning, when people are waking up and ramping up and using their appliances when they're getting ready, that puts a little bit of a strain on the system and so if you can reduce a little bit in just that period of time it can have a big impact," Electric Utility Manager Chris Monacelli said.

Monacelli says peak usage hours are between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.

In the city's control room, the statistics show people are using more power.

"In our case, the peak really just effects the price we pay next year," Monacelli said.

The spike could mean customers pay more for electricity in 2019 unless some of them are willing to bundle up.

"There's always an option of throwing on an extra layer of clothes or walking around with a blanket on. If they are able to reduce their consumption, even a little bit it can make a difference on their bill in the next year," Monacelli said.

At Buckeye Brew Craft, Barr says he's used to the cold, but he'll stay covered up anyway.

Westerville provides about 17,000 homes and businesses with electricity.