Continuing cold temperatures in the region have increased customer demand for electricity, breaking a 13-year record for Avista’s electric system. Natural gas demand has increased during this cold spell, but no new record has been set.
Between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 16, Avista reached a peak load of 1,821 megawatts (MW) of electricity, surpassing the previous record of 1,796 MW set in February 1996 when temperatures were minus 22 degrees. Avista average load is about 1,100 megawatts. Because of Avista’s resource planning process, the company has adequate energy supplies to continue meeting customer needs as the cold temperatures and snow remain in the forecast.
Higher than normal energy use by customers during this cold spell, in addition to holiday usage could have an impact on energy bills, which are highest in January and February. To help customers manage their energy use, Avista offers the following energy saving tips:
· Restrict the use of wood-burning fireplaces in extremely cold weather. Fireplaces can rob a home of heat provided by the heating system and reduce comfort.
· Make sure the damper is closed tightly when the fireplace is not in use. A chimney can draw off as much as 25 percent of the heated air in your home if the damper is left open.
· Set the thermostat at 68 degrees when at home, and reduce it to 65 degrees or lower while sleeping. Heating costs can be reduced by approximately 10 percent for each 3 degrees a thermostat is lowered.
· Turn off kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans when not needed. In one hour, these fans can pull a house full of warm air right out of the home.
· Do not block heating registers or return air openings.
· Reduce the thermostat to 55 degrees if you will be gone for more than three days over the holidays.
Customers who may have trouble paying their energy bill should contact Avista at (800) 227-9187 to make payment arrangements. Energy assistance may also be available through local community action agencies.
During this winter weather, the possibility exists for a power outage to occur. If so, customers should check to see if neighbors have also lost power, then call Avista at (800) 227-9187 to report the outage. Avista’s automated phone system can provide additional information if you are part of a larger known outage. Once outages are reported, they can be tracked online at www.avistautilities.com.
For additional information, visit www.avistautilities.com.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 352,000 electric and 311,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Avista stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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