Utility providers urge thermostat lowering to prevent outages

Just as when it's hot outside, extreme cold temperatures also put added demands on utility providers due to increases in the amount of electricity and natural gas consumed. To help conserve electricity, utilities urge dropping thermostats and turning off lights in rooms not in use.

CLAY COUNTY — Local power and gas utilities are urging customers to turn their thermostat down.

Just as when it's hot outside, extreme cold temperatures also put added demands on utility providers due to increases in the amount of electricity and natural gas consumed. 

Beginning at 12:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, Evergy began intermittent, forced blackouts by turning off electricity to blocks of customers for approximately 30 to 60 minutes. 

According to the company’s outage website, outagemap.evergy.com, there was no indicator as to when blackouts will occur in specific neighborhoods. 

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative is also urging consumer-members to reduce impact on the co-op's grid, but did not report forcing limited outages.

"High power consumption levels across the grid have the potential to cause intermittent service disruptions as a result of the system being overloaded. There are a number of steps PCEC members can take immediately in order to reduce their household's demand on the grid."

Platte-Clay experienced small, scattered outages limited in size and length throughout the Northland due to weather conditions Monday.

"A larger outage in the areas around Smithville, Kearney and just north of Liberty occurred on Monday morning. This outage impacted about 1,300 members intermittently due to the grid being overloaded at the substation level of our transmission partners," said PCEC spokesman Garrett Poorman. "PCEC has taken an all hands on deck approach to this extreme weather event, which has strained power suppliers across the Midwest region. We appreciate the efforts of our consumer-members who took steps to minimize their power consumption while we worked to keep power flowing in subzero temperatures."

According to the cooperative's online outage map at PCEC.coop, there were no outages as of 3:30 p.m. Monday.