St. George issues ‘orange alert’, asking residents to use less energy

Jul 17, 2023, 6:11 PM | Updated: 6:16 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — With the scorching triple-digit temperatures in southern Utah, the City of St. George is proactively protecting its power grid by issuing an Orange Alert.

“Orange is an indication that we were expecting exceptionally high temperatures and a really high load on our overall system,” explained Rene Fleming, manager of the St. George Emergency Services Department.

The city is asking people to avoid using major household appliances like ovens, dishwashers, and washers and dryers between the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. They also encourage keeping south and west facing blinds close, and the thermostat at 78 degrees.

Utah’s mountains packed with people escaping 100-degree heat

“We’ve been a public power utility since 1942, and we’ve learned from experience that when we have temperatures high like this, higher than we’ve had in a few years, we can really expect a large demand on our electric system, so we’re just trying to be proactive,” Fleming said.

On Monday, St. George reached 114 degrees. Many families flocked to the Historic Town Center to cool off.

“What we do when it’s really hot is go where the water is,” said Vickie Barlow.

Barlow drove from New Harmony with her family and spent the day enjoying the city’s water feature.

How to beat the heat in triple digit temps

“We were at Quail Creek on Friday playing in the lake, today, we brought kids and grandkids to play in the water here and keep cool,” she said. “They’ll spend hours here, and when it’s time to go, it’s hard to get them out of the water and into the car.”

Fleming said with the help of St. George residents and visitors during these excessive heat days, the city can manage the strain on the power grid without outages or interruptions to services. She hopes that residents will see the benefits of reducing energy use.

“If you can help us by conserving, you’re also helping yourself because you’ll save money on your power bill,” Fleming said.

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St. George issues ‘orange alert’, asking residents to use less energy