BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Entergy and DEMCO are getting ready for freezing weather this Christmas weekend.
DEMCO officials say while weather is unpredictable, they do not expect power lines to freeze and come down, which is what usually causes outages during a freeze. The utility company does not predict blackouts as of right now.
“Our crews are ready and prepared to restore power if outages occur,” said General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of DEMCO, Randy Pierce. “Lingering wind gusts can cause restoration delays since crews must wait until winds are below 35 mph to safely work on poles and lines.”
Officials say there’s going to be a high demand for electricity, so they are asking you to do your part.
Entergy provides the following tips to conserve power ahead of cold weather:
- Seal air leaks. Use caulk or weatherstripping around doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside.
- Adjust the thermostat. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during winter months, and dress in layers to stay warm. Each degree above 68 can increase your energy bill by about 3%.
- Conserve hot water. Set your hot water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees, or the medium setting. Wrap electric water heaters with water heater blankets, which can be found at home improvement stores.
- Keep doors and windows closed. Constant traffic will let out warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at a set temperature.
- Ensure fans are turning the right way. Fans should be run at a low speed clockwise during the winter to prevent the cold air from blowing down on you.
- Replace air filters. Dirty filters make your heating system work harder. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Leverage the sun. During the day, open your curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.
According to Entergy, heating and cooling costs can account for more than 50% of a customer’s monthly bill, due to excessive usage during consecutive days of cold temperatures.
“We are encouraging everybody to be mindful about your use, to use what you need to not be super cold, but, you know, to be mindful not to overburden the grid,” said Anne Hawes, Public Relations Manager, DEMCO.
Entergy and DEMCO urge customers to report any power outages as soon as they can.