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With blasts of arctic air pushing across North Texas, biting deep into consumers’ pocketbooks when heating systems are continuously ramped up to answer temperatures from the teens to the 30s, United Cooperative Services encourages members and the general public to be even more vigilant in determining ways to control their energy usage to mitigate stress on the electric grid and to control their energy costs.

“When we encounter the extremely cold weather during an extended period like we’re experiencing now and into next week, the likes of which haven’t been seen in our area in more than a decade, we urge members to take measures to manage their energy use,” United CEO Cameron Smallwood said. “During extreme weather events when temperatures are freezing and below, heating units run almost continuously. With forecasts showing the potential for 0 degrees or lower in the coming days, demand on the state’s electric grid is expected to set a new record peak usage. Everyone needs to be prepared for outages, whether they’re controlled outages mandated by system operators like the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or if harsh wind, snow and ice are the causes.”

Heating and cooling are responsible for the largest part of a typical electric bill because weather is the number one driver of energy consumption. Regardless if someone is at home or away during the day, weather dictates energy consumption.

“If a thermostat is lowered to 60 degrees, when it’s 20, 30, 40 or even 50 degrees outside, it’s going to affect the temperature in your home and trigger the heater to turn on, compounding energy consumption,” Smallwood said. “Even highly efficient heat pumps cannot keep up when temperatures drop to freezing or below, which prompts emergency heat to turn on and subsequently uses more electricity than normal.”

United is committed to helping its members waste less energy and control their energy costs. During these frigid times, everyone is encouraged to be vigilant in managing their energy use to control their electric bills and protect the grid.

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