St. George asks residents to conserve power due to threat of rolling blackouts

St. George power officials are asking residents to conserve power during this week's heat wave.

St. George power officials are asking residents to conserve power during this week's heat wave. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)



ST. GEORGE — We've had a full week of hotter than normal temperatures, and power officials in St. George have been asking residents to take some big steps to conserve power, or there may be rolling blackouts.

Dixie Power named Thursday a "Red Alert" day in its "Use Less, Save More" program. They asked customers to do things like keep appliances and lights off, especially in peak hours from 3-9 p.m., don't charge electric cars, turn off pool pumps and turn the indoor thermostat up to 80 degrees.

Power officials in St. George say California is using a lot of electricity, and the power grid is connected, putting a strain on the system. If they don't conserve on very hot days, there could be outages.

More cities set daily records for the heat on June 17. It was 109 in St. George, 107 in Moab, 105 in Kanab, 102 in Spanish Fork, 98 in Cedar City and 78 in Alta. At 10 p.m., it was still 100 degrees in St George.

"Triple-digit heat during the summer months is expected to create a high demand for power use in St. George," Dixie Power said.

"To address this concern, the City of St. George's Energy Services Department and Dixie Power have joined forces to develop the Use Less, Save More campaign to help educate residents on efficient power usage during extreme weather conditions," they wrote on Facebook.

"It is important to know the days when extra energy efficiency can help reduce the possibility of power service interruptions as the wildfire season approaches," Laurie Mangum, energy services director for St. George. "We pride ourselves in providing safe, affordable and reliable energy and want to ensure it continues to be the case this summer."

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"By conserving energy, residents can save money on power bills and help reduce demand on the power system — especially during the peak hours of 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. This lessens the possibility of a rolling blackout, which is what we want to avoid," said Colin Jack, chief operating officer for Dixie Power. "Let's all work together and sacrifice just a little bit to help us stay cool during the summer months."

The outlook appears better for residents on Friday. Dixie Power notified residents that they would be on a "green" day, and St. George's Energy Department said they were still in "orange."

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Mary Richards

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