Record-Breaking Cold Causes Record Demand for Power

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As temperatures plunge into teens and wind chills drop to single digits, people are cranking up the heat. Now, some power companies across the nation are urging consumers to conserve. Wiregrass Electric Cooperative saw a huge demand of power Tuesday morning—but they knew they would.

“These are temperatures we have not seen for some time now,” said Brad Kimbro, Director of Member Services at Wiregrass Electric. “We know we're going to peak. We know we're going to set a peak.”

“To peak” means the area they serve could use up to 130 megawatts of power—which is capacity. Higher electric bills or a blackout could be the result of using more than capacity. However, Kimbro does not see that happening.

“We don't have a capacity shortage, but it is a cost opportunity for our members to help us with,” he said.

The highest peak Wiregrass Electric saw was in 2010. To avoid using too much power during colder weather, limit use of electricity during 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Shower at night, run the dishwasher in the afternoon, and turn off unnecessary lights.

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