The city of Hastings sent a news release Tuesday morning stating due to unprecedented energy demand brought on by the cold weather, The City of Hastings Utilities Department has been asked to dramatically reduce its energy consumption by the Southwest Power Pool, and residents should be prepared for rolling blackouts to occur.
Each outage should last no longer than 30 minutes, and the department is working closely with some of its top energy-consuming businesses in the city to find voluntary and temporary reductions in energy consumption.
The city is also asking residents to take any steps possible to conserve energy as subzero temperatures remain in the area.
Customers are using more electricity and natural gas because of the cold, and the demand for energy is surpassing the available generation across the Southwest Power Pool.
All available power-generating units are running at full capacity for the Utilities Department, but the strain on the overall Southwest Power Pool is causing the potential for shortages across the market.
To help ease demand, the Utilities Department is asking customers to reduce their energy consumption. Suggestions include the following:
— Turn off lights when you leave the room or aren’t using them
— Turn off and unplug non-essential TVs, appliances, computers, and printers
— Dry items in your dishwasher simply by opening the door and not using a ‘high temperature’ option
— Use smaller appliances such as the microwave or toaster instead of the oven
— Avoid using high-energy appliances like the dryer
— Lower your thermostat a few degrees and dress more warmly or use additional blankets to stay comfortable
— Take short showers instead of baths
— Open curtains and shades during the day on sunny sides of homes to let sunlight in
— Close curtains and shades at night to provide extra insulation