OMAHA, Neb. (AP/KCAU) — Frigid weather that has sent temperatures plunging across Middle America also has power and gas utilities urging customers to dial down the thermostat.
Utility companies serving Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri issued the plea Sunday and Monday for customers to conserve power as temperatures dropped to nearly 30 below in parts of western and northern Nebraska early Monday, sending the wind chill to as low as nearly 50 below in some places.
Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, Evergy in Kansas City, Missouri, and Summit Natural Gas serving parts of Missouri were among some of the utilities that issued releases Sunday begging customers to conserve energy through Wednesday as the bitter cold was expected to linger for days.
The NPPD said that electric consumers can do the following to assist in conserving energy:
- Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees and lower at night.
- Close shades and blinds to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
- Turn off and un-plug non-essential lights and appliances, computers and printers.
- Close the fireplace damper when not in use to avoid losing heat through the chimney.
- Avoid using large appliances (i.e., ovens, washing machines, etc.).
- Business should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
- Do not connect a generator to your home’s electrical system. Consult a licensed electrician.
- Do not use any grilling equipment for heat indoors. Charcoal and gas grills produce large amounts of carbon monoxide and even small amounts has potentially fatal results.
MidAmerican is also encouraging customers to reduce their gas use due to the weather. Officials said due to frozen wells in the southern part of the country, customers should try to lower their thermostat a few degrees. The issues should resolve as the temperature starts to rise.