As of 5 p.m. on Monday, February 15, the SPP has fallen back to an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) Level 2 in response to conditions created by persistent and extreme cold across its service territory. While controlled service interruptions (rolling blackouts) are suspended in this alert level, we continue to ask everyone to conserve energy wherever possible and safe to do so to prevent worsening system conditions that could impact a broader area or have longer-lasting effects.

The next 24-48 hours are critical. If the SPP returns to an EEA Level Three and we are mandated to shed load, we will do everything possible to turn off the fewest number of homes and businesses. Towns will only be affected as a last resort. For anyone with critical medical needs especially in rural areas, we always recommend you have a plan for alternate power such as a generator or an alternate place to go for power. We are working with local emergency management agencies to have warming stations available if we need to implement load shedding. If you have questions, please call 580.652.2418 or email [email protected] with questions.

Many of the regional wind resources are offline due to the freezing temperatures and the record-breaking cold is putting a significant strain on natural gas supplies. The cold weather is freezing off natural gas production, making less gas available for delivery to customers.

Consumers can conserve energy by turning down thermostats and not using high energy-consuming appliances, such as clothes washers and dryers, ovens and dishwashers, beginning now and continuing through mid-week.

Other ways you can do your part to help conserve electricity include:

Turn down thermostats to 68 degrees if your health permits.

Check and change furnace filters if needed to ensure optimum airflow. Rule of thumb: change filter every 3 months; 2 months if you have pets or family members have allergies.

Close furnace registers and doors to unoccupied rooms to keep occupied rooms warmer, which will help reduce consumption.

Keep vents clear. High efficiency furnaces have vents leading outside. Make sure they are not blocked with ice or debris. Inside, make sure vents are not covered by rugs or furniture.

Resist the urge to crank up the thermostat as it’s unlikely to make much of difference except to put a strain on the furnace and your energy bill. Instead, wear an extra layer or use blankets to keep warm. Lowering the temperature just a couple of degrees will protect your furnace.

Reprogram thermostat if it’s set to lower significantly at night or when no one is home. During extreme cold weather like we are experiencing now, the furnace will have a hard time raising the temperature to the desired level and it will use more energy to do so.

Close blinds and curtains to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.
Turn off and unplug non-essential lights and appliances.

Make microwave or toaster-oven friendly meals to save energy.

Unplug electronics and other items not in use.

Businesses should minimize use of lighting and electric-consuming equipment as much as possible.