Hot enough to turn UP your thermostat?

WCCO_4DAY.JPEGJust heard on WCCO and confirmed via the Strib: “As of 7:30 p.m. Sunday, more than 12,000 Xcel Energy customers across the state were without power.”

Then comes the obligatory fear mongering about rolling blackouts if we don’t all turn up the thermostat and conserve power. My grandma made it a point to say the power company has had to do this in the metro’s past, although I didn’t find any record in a quick Google search. I for one don’t believe we’ll lose power metro-wide.

Hard to believe Xcel isn’t rejoicing at all the extra kilowatts they’re pumping into homes across the metro. My bill is going to be HUGE. But if you’re up for taking a personal hit for the greater good, here are some suggested tips to greater your discomfort from the Strib:

• Keep your power use to a minimum — and prioritize what you do use.

• If you have central air, keep it at 78 degrees or more.

• Turn off lights in the house.

• And try not to use major appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after 10:30 p.m.

8 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 11:25 pm

    I’m in San Francisco right now and I am SO not looking forward to coming back home. I look at my weatherbug in my menu bar every day and I cry a little inside.

  2. urgewyrm (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 2:30 am

    Cry alot, Erica, because it really, really sucks.

    While I highly doubt that the Dark Lords of Xcel don’t have enough power to run everything ( the cause of rolling blackouts like in California ), it’s quite plausible for local grids to burn out and start a cascade failure ( such as we saw in New York awhile back ) due to massive load ( such as everyone getting home at 1730 and switching their ACs on YES ).

    I’ve never been in a metro city sized blackout before. It could be quite entertaining! Just remember to drink your booze first before it gets warm…..

  3. Avery (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 3:44 am

    I can’t afford such luxury’s as turning on my AC…

    My tip for staying cool is find places with AC like libraries, or the college down the street, or where ever, and not worry about the temp at home. Stay hydrated all the time.

    The part about not turning on major appliances until night time isn’t going to help your bill that much, because you pay the same per KW 24hrs a day. It helps the utility company though though, it costs them less to produce electricity at night. If they could charge like long distance (more during the peak time and less at night), people would think about that a little more.

  4. Joe (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 9:13 am

    Yesterday sucked and I’m glad I’m at work now! :) It’s chilly here.

    Our breakers kept poppin’ every 5 mins or so yesterday, so it was pretty much impossible to keep the place remotely comfortable. Our landlord aka Hartless Properties dosen’t like to have their apartment buildings up to code (fire hazzard) or wired properly, so I guess it’s time to talk to Mike Hatch. Maybe if I promise to vote for him…

  5. Heather K (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 12:13 pm

    My office building has the AC cranked so high today that despite the heat, I’ve been FREEZING all morning. I had lunch outside in the blistering sun, which felt faboo.

  6. Kristi (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

    Yeah, I pretty much already do all those things due to my night owl lifestyle, well, except for the central AC part because I am a poor mofo and live in an apartment with a window unit.

    And like Heather and others, I have to dress accordingly or bring extra layers of clothing to work so that my legs, feet, and hands don’t go numb while working in 68-degree AC. Seriously, who (besides urgewyrm) likes it that cold? It hurts!

  7. mike h (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

    I stepped outside late last night and just listened to the hum of all the air conditioners in the neighborhood. It was damn loud in the dead of night.

  8. Erica (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 6:58 pm

    If I needed incentive to work late, this is it.

    I was in Detroit three years ago when that giant blackout that knocked out the whole northeast and half of the midwest happened. That was some crazy shit. I don’t really get the impression that anything’s been changed to prevent something like that from happening again.

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