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AEP Asking Customers To Conserve Power Use

Reported: Jan. 28, 2014 9:15 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 29, 2014 12:43 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Kera Mashek) It's not just your imagination! This January is officially one of the coldest on record and that's making for some huge power bills. Now AEP is asking customers to cut back.

The biggest concern is for too much power usage during the peak times: 6-10 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. And as bitter cold temperatures continue, the power company is asking you to limit how much heat and other electricity you use to lessen the strain on the grid.

With the extremely cold temperatures, it's tempting to stay in your house, crank up that heat, and just curl up for a long winter's night! That's what Debbie and Clyde Childers are doing.

"Oh yeah! Sit by the fire. Stay by the fire!" said Debbie Childers of Charleston.

Using that wood stove for warmth, this couple tries to conserve energy in hopes of keeping their power bills in check.

"We just dress warmer, keep the heat down as best as we can because the bill will be probably phenomenal," Childers said.

Those kinds of simple steps to reduce electricity use are exactly what Appalachian Power is asking all its customers to do. Because with bitter cold temperatures, the demand for power across the entire region is hitting record highs, which could put enough strain on the grid to cause outages.

"The agency that oversees the electric grid in a 13 state area, they're expecting record demand across that whole grid, and they want to make sure there's enough to generate power to match the energy customers need. And if everybody just does a little, the 60 some million people that live in that area, it can reduce demand significantly," said Phil Moye with AEP.

In addition to leaving lights off and dropping your thermostat, AEP also says you shouldn't use major appliances like your stove, dishwasher, or washer and dryer during peak times. If you do need to use them, wait until after peak times, so that hopefully everyone's power can stay on through this deep freeze.

AEP doesn't expect a big problem with power outages during this cold snap, but crews are ready to go anytime and anywhere they might be needed.

You can also help lower your power bills year-round with a free in-home energy audit. Contact AEP's customer service to inquire about setting that up at (800) 982-4237.



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