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Ease Power Consumption During Extreme Winter Events

Updated on June 1, 2015

With all the wild winter weather occurring nowadays, more than ever utility companies are asking their consumers to save energy during extreme weather events to prevent blackouts and brownouts. Yes, you can unplug appliances, lower your heating, and all the rest, but there are a few fairly easy ways to save energy that do not involve a lot of sacrifice on your part, yet will ease the burden on the power grid. So try out some of these methods, and do your part to keep the lights on!

Even the electrical power field office temporarily lost power during this event. The light is from a passing car.
Even the electrical power field office temporarily lost power during this event. The light is from a passing car. | Source

Five Easy Ways to Conserve Just a Little

  1. If you are cooking a meal on the stove, your food will heat much faster with this one little trick: cover the pot, even if later you plan to cook the food uncovered. The food will reach the proper temperature minutes faster. This also works for preheating pans, and heating oil for frying. The lid will keep the heat inside instead of letting it out into the air.
  2. If you are cooking food in the oven, you can take advantage of residual heat in two ways: first, turn off your oven a few minutes early, and let the food continue to cook with the heat left over in the oven. This may take a minute or two longer to cook the food than you are accustomed to, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you will be helping everyone by doing your part.
  3. The second way to take advantage of the residual heat in your oven: after you take the food out, leave the oven door open, rather than closing it. This will circulate the oven heat inside your house, keeping your house warmer and putting less strain on your heating system.
  4. Maintaining proper humidity in your home will also help to keep the temperature inside from falling below the dew point. Your heating system won't work so hard, and you'll be more comfortable, too! Just remember, the higher the humidity, the more warmth the air will retain.
  5. And finally, you might want to consider heating up the bed, instead of heating up the bedroom. That old standby, a hot water bottle, will keep the bed toasty, while you can let the rest of the house cool down until it's time to wake up. You can even heat the water with the leftover heat from your oven, or, if you are worried about leaks, a heating pad set on low will also work. Modern heating pads have automatic shutoff timers, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off when you get up. If you have a bed canopy, draw it shut.

With these handy tips, you should be able to reduce your power consumption just the little extra necessary to help utility companies deal with extreme cold, and then you won't have to shiver in the dark during a brownout or blackout. You'll still be warm!

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