Cayce, SC (WLTX) - Are you willing to turn your heating unit down to reduce energy use? That's what South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) is asking customers to do, as the temperatures continue to drop.
“We expect the demand for power to be extremely high over the next several days,” said Keller Kissam, President of SCE&G. “As a precautionary measure, we are asking customers to voluntarily reduce energy consumption, especially in the early morning hours (6 to 9 a.m.), to help ensure the continued reliable supply of electricity.”
"If customers are demanding more energy than we are generating, then that could lead to trouble with the system," says Ginny Jones SCE&G spokeswoman. "Right now it is super cold and people are all using heat to warm their houses."
"On a daily basis we monitor what our customers are going to use," says Jones. "We make sure that we're generating enough energy to match that. So, what we are doing by asking customers to reduce their energy, is making sure that we can balance what we can generate with what we can use. That will allow the system to keep operating smoothly and reliably like it does every day."
Customers are encouraged to lower their thermostats to 68 degrees or lower, unplug all non essential appliances and limit the use of major power-consuming equipment like washers and dryers.
However, the request upset some customers, who took to social media to express concern over their electric bill rates and the $2 billion spent by SCE&G on the now failed nuclear reactor project at V.C. Summer.
"We understand that customers are concerned if we're asking them to reduce energy," says Jones. "We thank them for their patience in this extreme cold weather. This is something that we don't do often. This is really a rare thing when we have sustained cold temperatures like we're having right now."
SCE&G services nearly 717,000 customers throughout the state. Currently there are very few outages being reported.