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St. George residents asked to reduce power usage during peak hours

Jul 10, 2024, 2:09 PM | Updated: Jul 11, 2024, 6:41 am

ST. GEORGE — The city of St. George is asking its residents to conserve energy between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. as it grapples with extreme heat.

Temperatures in southern Utah could hit 114 degrees Wednesday and are forecasted to stay that high through Saturday. The city has declared it an “orange” alert day — noting that peak hours are “the highest demand on the city power system.”

“We expect to get hot,” said St. George energy services director Brian Dial. “But when we see Salt Lake get hot, we know we’re going to see a lot more energy use, and so we say orange to say, ‘hey, let’s be aware of the energy we’re using’ because … the more people are using (our grid), the more strain there is on it.”

Dial said the alert does not mean the city is worried about rolling outages, but rather that they just expect there to be increased usage.

“If you can reduce your usage from about 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., you’ll see it really helps everyone out,” said Dial.

The city suggests the following ways to help.

  • Avoid using the oven
  • Avoid running the dishwasher or clothes washer and dryer
  • Avoid opening and closing the doors to the outside
  • Charge EV vehicles after 9 p.m.
  • Turning off lights during the day

Dial also points out it helps users.

“The less energy you use, the more money you save on your energy,” he said.

Excessive heat warnings issued throughout Utah as ‘heat dome’ arrives

Does Rocky Mountain Power have grid concerns?

A large portion of the rest of the state uses Rocky Mountain power for its energy. However, its power grid is not the same as St. George’s.

“Rocky Mountain Power relies on a diverse mix of available energy resources to meet peak hour needs during the summer, and the company is well positioned to meet summer customer demand,” the company said in a June 5 release preparing customers for increased summer usage.

They also listed tips to help save energy

  • Switch energy usage to off-peak hours (from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.) whenever possible.
  • Set the thermostat on central air conditioning at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting.
  • Trim foliage around your air conditioner to make sure air can circulate freely.
  • Close drapes, particularly those on west and south windows, to shut out sunlight.
  • Limit use of appliances that generate heat – including dishwashers, ovens, irons and dryers – to after 7 p.m. or in the morning.
  • Unplug any second refrigerators after moving items to the primary refrigerator.
  • Turn off lights, computers, televisions and appliances when you are not using them.
  • Open windows in the cool of the evening and again in early morning to let in cool air. Use the intake setting on window fans to help bring in even more cool air.
  • Keep air moving inside your home with ceiling, window, attic, and portable fans.

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St. George residents asked to reduce power usage during peak hours