Do we have the power to sustain area through summer months?
Wed, 23 May 2012 23:30:00 GMT —
The triple digit heat has hit the Panhandle and already this year, we've broken records.
So that means you've more than likely cranked up the air conditioning to keep you cool a few times.
But can our power grind handle that energy surge?
The sun's rays have been beating down on us already this year, even breaking some records. The bad news is it's still spring.
While other parts of the state are concerned about meeting energy demands over the next few years, potentially causing rolling blackouts, Xcel Energy has a different outlook here.
"We did add a new power generation facility last summer near Lubbock. We've got another one coming on next summer, we've got new transmission lines that are being built that are going to connect us to other sources of power," said Wes Reeves, Xcel Energy Spokesman.
That project will connect lines from down near Lubbock on up to Oklahoma. Reeves says that will ensure that when those peak months come around, we'll have the energy to meet the demand.
"It's a very important line it's going to be in service hopefully by 2014 that will connect us further back in the east where we can access some good sources of power not only economic power that's going to be possibly be cheaper then we can sometimes generate, but also during these peak summer months we can bring in extra power as needed," said Reeves.
But he does warn you should take precautions.
"You can over heat a transformer, get lines that are overworked or overloaded and that does happen sometimes so we have spotted outages on hot days occasionally".
Here are some tips to conserve. During the day, set your thermostat to 78 degrees. Don't immediately turn your thermostat to 70 degrees, do it gradually.
Avoid using extra electricity during the peak times of 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., like using your dishwasher.
Reeves says that will safeguard our energy capacity for years to come when that thermometer climbs into the triple digits.
Another way you can help conserve and earn money, Xcel Energy has a new saver's switch. They install it onto your compressor and help control how often it runs.
Then in October, you'll get $50 for using it.