Conservation Still Needed For Xcel Customers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/10/08

Conservation Still Needed For Xcel Customers

The demand for energy still outweighs the supply. The need to conserve energy isn't over yet. NewsChannel 11 first brought you Xcel's energy warning Friday night and at that time Xcel said the need to conserve would most likely be over by Sunday. They're now continuing that conservation warning until further notice.

There are several things that play into the need to conserve:

  • One is the demand for electricity is dangerously close to outweighing the supply.
  • Another is a power plant Xcel was planning to have online for the summer isn't online yet.
  • Mother Nature is another. It's hot and when it's hot, energy consumption goes way up.

But Xcel stresses, though you need to conserve, this isn't an emergency yet. "We're just trying to make sure we don't get into a situation that does become serious," said Xcel Energy District Manager Steve Deaton.

Deaton says the south plains isn't in danger of rolling and controlled outages yet. But proactive energy conservation on the parts of Xcel customers is needed so those outages don't become a reality. "We set an all time peak load here on Wednesday. The heat and the temperatures have been relentless we haven't gotten any breaks," Deaton said.

Xcel has a capacity of around 5,900 megawatts. Wednesday the company logged energy consumption at its highest level ever, 5,600 megawatts. But it's not all the energy consumers fault Xcel got dangerously close to its max. "Our actual crisis stems from the fact that we were counting on the Hobbs plant, Lee County power to be online the first part of the summer to give us a little bit of an edge and a little buffer on that. About 500 megawatts and that has not come to pass yet," said Deaton.

That in combination with extremely hot temperatures fueling the need for air conditioners to keep cool has Xcel recommending conservation:

  • Turn off unneeded lights in your home.
  • If you're not watching your TV, hit the power button.
  • At night turn up those air conditioner to keep energy use low. Xcel recommends 85 degrees at night if you can.
  • Also unplug any unneeded appliances. And try to do household chores that require electricity after 7 p.m.

By doing those simple things and being energy smart over these hot energy hogging months, Xcel says the need for required conservation through outages most likely won't be come a reality.

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