PSO Asking Customers To Cut Back On Electricity Usage

Wednesday, August 3rd 2011, 5:06 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Our record-breaking heat isn't just causing spikes in water usage. The demand on our power grid is setting a few records of its own.

Before this summer, Public Service of Oklahoma hadn't set a new peak demand record since August of 2008. That record has been broken three times in the last week.

It's a low roar that keeps your air conditioner buzzing.

"Electrical use is very high right now," said Stan Whiteford, PSO spokesperson.

As temperatures continue to set records, so does the demand for power.

"That's what's having the impact - and just the continued heat wave, the continued stress on people, it all just kind of leads to where we get a new peak demand record," Whiteford said.

To keep the currents flowing through these lines, PSO is keeping a close eye on its power plants.

8/3/2011 Related Story: GRDA Asks Customers To Cut Back On Electricity Use

"We start there to make sure everything is working there," Whiteford said. "And we're working diligently to make sure that the power plants are up and running and running at full load all the time."

With the unyielding thirst for juice to cool the city, one PSO plant is firing some generators ten times longer than normal.

"This one over here is only run during peak season," said Operations Supervisor Jim Hendrix."Typically, it's already been on for close to a month. Normally, we'd only run this unit for three days a year." 

When every megawatt counts, crews work hard to make sure the power keeps up with the demand.

"As long as the equipment holds up, we'll be fine," said Stan Whiteford, PSO spokesperson. However, there is certainly a stress and a strain on the system with all the heat."

And with new records being set with every flip of a switch, PSO is echoing the call for conservation.

"We continue to be in this for the foreseeable future. So we ask people to keep energy conservation in mind for the duration of this heat wave," he said.

The folks at PSO say game consoles use five times as much power as your typical DVD player. So you should make sure they are off and unplugged, when you're not using them.

Get more tips for saving energy.