How Oklahomans Can Conserve Energy During Extreme Heat

Tuesday, August 10th 2010, 3:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley & Terry Hood, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The intense heat has Oklahoma's electrical companies keeping a close eye on their power supply.

OG&E has issued an advisory for its customers to conserve electricity. Public Service Company of Oklahoma says it's not to that point yet, but there are few steps you can take to help ease the stress on the energy supply.

Summertime can mean overtime for your air conditioning unit.

As the thermometer climbs in Oklahoma, energy consumption hitches a ride. The 100 plus degree temperatures cause the state's two major suppliers of electricity to spend extra hours watching the grid.

OG&E issued an advisory for its customers this week. It mostly covers residents in western Oklahoma, but does reach as far east as Fort Smith.

The company is asking its customers to use less electricity between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

8/9/2010 Related Story: OG&E Issues Electricity Advisory Due To Extreme Heat

PSO is western Oklahoma's largest provider, but it says it's not ready to issue its own advisory.

"Typically for us to get into a position where we would make a public appeal it would be as a result of something going down," Stan Whiteford, Public Service Oklahoma, said.

But Whiteford says there are a number of things you can do to conserve electricity during the heat wave. He suggests to turn your thermostat up a few degrees while you're gone during the day, then turn it back down when you get home.

"The deal is that you don't want to set it so high that it just gets blazing hot in your house and then you set it so low when you get home that your air conditioner has to really, really run to make up," he said.

He also says to stay away from any appliances that may cause your home to heat up.

"So if you don't use your oven during the middle of the day, if you don't use your washer and dryer during the middle of the day," Whiteford said. "Those things tend to warm up your house, make your air conditioner kick on."

Whiteford also says PSO will work with anyone who may have trouble paying their bill due to the extreme heat.

From midnight August 10 to 4:00 p.m., EMSA paramedics have treated and transported six patients to Tulsa hospitals with symptoms of heat-related illness. All are listed in fair condition with the exception of an 81-year-old male who was in serious condition. As a result, EMSA has issued a heat alert for Tuesday, August 10.

The following cooling stations are open for business until further notice:

The Salvation Army Center of Hope
102 N. Denver Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103

Tulsa County Social Services Cooling Station
2401 Charles Page Blvd.
8:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Dennis R. Neill Equality Center
621 East 4th Street
3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday

OpenTable United Church Of Christ
202 S Cedar
1 - 6 p.m.