Our summer started out with a heat wave this year across much of the nation and that has resulted in a high demand for electricity.
Power generation companies and those that work to stabilize our electric grid across the United States have annual plans to accommodate added seasonal electricity demand. Singing River Electric’s power supplier, Cooperative Energy, as well as their regional transmission organization, MISO, are closely monitoring operating conditions this summer and have already taken actions to prepare including delaying discretionary equipment maintenance, completing seasonal assessments/regular drills, and preparing emergency resources in the event they are needed.
As stated earlier with mention of the hotter than usual start to summer, we have had increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events. As the Electric Power Research Institute reported last year, hurricanes extreme heat events, and extreme cold events are all becoming more problematic for the energy sector.
Part of the issue isn’t just the weather. According to MISO, the generation fleet in our region of the United States has been shifting away from conventional baseload resources (coal and natural gas) towards weather-dependent, intermittent renewables. These power sources may not be available when they are needed most.
As an electricity consumer and member of Singing River Electric, you can help too. Work to conserve electricity on the hottest days and throughout the summer. Here are some tips:
- Take cooking outdoors. Grill out and enjoy evenings outside.
- Avoid using larger appliances in the evenings between 5-10 p.m. Set your dishwashers to run outside of this time frame.
- Keep your thermostat set as high as possible. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temps, the less strain on your home’s cooling system and the lower your electric bill.
- Keep blinds and curtains shut during the hottest parts of the day to keep out the heat.
- Use ceiling fans only when you are in the room. Fans move air across your skin and help you feel cooler at a higher temperature setting.
- Lower the temperature on your water heater.
- Turn off unused lights and unplug unused electronics.
- Keep your fireplace flue closed and keep exterior doors shut as much as possible.
Singing River Electric has an 84-year heritage of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our local communities where we call home. SRE serves more than 78,000 meters across 7,651 miles of power lines in seven counties in Mississippi (Jackson, George, Greene, Perry, Stone, Wayne and Harrison) and two counties in Alabama (Mobile and Washington). The electric distribution cooperative works with Cooperative Energy to provide its members a diverse mix of generation resources including five small-scale solar sites locally and a 540-acre solar site in Lamar County. For more information, follow our conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.