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Energy Cooperative asking customers in northeast Oklahoma, Missouri to conserve energy

Posted at 9:48 AM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 19:13:55-04

VERDIGRIS, Okla. — Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative is asking members to conserve electricity due to rising temperatures.

Associated Electric Cooperative, the power supplier for six regional generation and transmission cooperatives and up to 51 distribution cooperatives, asked members to conserve energy due to wanting to "do everything possible to meet members' needs" with its three-tiered system of electric co-ops.

Officials notified members on June 14 that energy supplies could be "tight" for June 16 and June 17. Officials said members can make a difference by conserving energy from 2 to 8 p.m. when the most energy is being used. They point to the winter storm in Feb. 2021 as an example of when members made a difference by conserving energy during weather events.

Ways members could help conserve energy:

  • Raise their thermostats a few degrees.
  • Limit the use of large appliances.
  • Unplug devices that are not in use.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.

“It’s been really hot the last couple of weeks and like I said, I set my thermostat on my A/C and just leave it,” Claremore resident, Michael Reese said.

For a few hours Thursday and Friday, Reese is being asked to adjust his thermostat.

“Raising your thermostat, a couple of degrees helps,” Randy Riddle, director of operations for VVEC said.

Riddle said they're taking these measures out of an abundance of caution. He said their supplier relies on wind generation in North West Missouri, but with less wind and the unseasonably hot weather, they said the wind turbines will be unreliable. He said there are other factors as well.

“They’ve got a couple of power plants down, one for plant maintenance, they’ve got another one done — one it was kind of a forced outage, but they hope to have those back up pretty quick, one of them I think this weekend,” Riddle said.

Electric Cooperatives are asking nearly one million customers in Oklahoma and Missouri to raise their thermostats by a few degrees, turn off unnecessary lights, limit the use of appliances, and unplug devices that are not in use. One resident 2 News Oklahoma talked to said he's trying to do his part, but he's also trying to get some relief from the heat.

“As far as conserving, I think even nighttime gets humidity and stuff like that. You know, I’m doing the best I can…but I don’t know if I’m doing my part," Reese said.

Riddle said at the moment they don't anticipate any more energy conservation days.


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