Pioneer asking members to conserve electric usage

Published 2:52 pm Monday, January 6, 2014

Special to the Signal
Pioneer Electric Cooperative Inc. is asking members to voluntarily limit electric usage until Wednesday, Jan. 8, due to an unusually high demand for electricity during the extremely cold weather.

Extremely cold temperatures lead to higher electricity demand from consumers and could lead to shortages in electricity supply, according to the cooperative. The cooperative reports it doesn’t anticipate problems with meeting the high electricity demand, but voluntary reductions by its members could reduce the risk of power outages.

The interconnections of electric systems frequently make it possible for one system to receive additional electricity from neighboring systems, according to the cooperative. However, extreme cold weather is widespread in this region, limiting additional electric power resources. Energy conservation is an important factor in helping to ensure our members receive continuous electric service, the cooperative states.

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“Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc., together with our power supplier, will make every attempt to ensure our members receive continuous electric service,” said Terry Moseley, executive vice-president and general manger of Pioneer. “With our members’ cooperation, we can reduce our need for electricity, also reducing the risk of power outages.”

According to the cooperative, Lowering the thermostat on electric heating systems to 68 degrees is recommended. Members are also urged to reduce their energy requirements by limiting the use of non-essential electricity and appliances, such as electric water heaters, clothes washers and dryers and dishwashers.

Pioneer also offers these tips for saving energy and being safe during cold weather:
Never use an oven to heat your home.

Use space heaters sparingly and with extreme caution.
Lower your thermostat and use blankets and extra clothing to stay warm.
Except for refrigerators and freezers that keep food cold, unplug all electronic devices, chargers and appliances when they are not being used. Even your television, computer, satellite receiver, DVD player and phone chargers use electricity when they aren’t in use.
Turn off bathroom or kitchen ventilation fans – they draw warm air outside.
Unplug spare refrigerators in the garage if possible.

“Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc. and our energy supplier have staff members working non-stop – from the power plants to the line crews. We are prepared to meet our members’ needs,” Moseley said.

In the event of power outages, members with special needs, such as life support systems or equipment, should plan accordingly, according to the cooperative.

The cooperative will continue to keep the public advised of further developments concerning voluntary cutbacks of electric power. If you experience a power outage, please call the outage reporting line at 1-800-533-0323.