Palmetto Electric Cooperative established a new peak demand for electricity of 469 megawatts between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., Thursday, January 4 according to Berl Davis, president and CEO of the utility. “This all-time record peak exceeds the previous peak of 467 megawatts set on January 7, 2014,” said Davis.
Davis stated that due to the cold and snowy weather, several outages occurred throughout the system. “We have had several large outages in southern Beaufort County, as well as a number of scattered smaller outages. Altogether, approximately 2,000 consumers lost service. Our system has responded very well under the circumstances; however, the increased load on our system has contributed to a few equipment failures,” said Davis. Outage information can be viewed online at palmetto.coop under the outage/storm-center tab.
With the extreme cold weather, Palmetto Electric is alerting consumers of the effects on energy consumption. “With the cold temperatures comes increased usage and higher electric bills,” said Davis.
Palmetto Electric recommends a thermostat setting of 68 degrees or less in extreme cold weather. For every degree above this setting, consumers will add approximately 4-8 percent to their heating cost.
Other energy saving tips include:
• Set thermostats at 55 degrees in a home that is vacant for a week or longer.
• Caulk around all doors and window. Loose or cracked caulking should be removed or replaced.
• Weather-stripping is a real key to preventing heat loss. Doors and windows should be sealed to prevent drafts. Door bottoms are also culprits; install inexpensive “sweeps” on doors to keep out the cold. Don’t forget to weather-strip your attic access.
• Central heating systems should be given an annual cleaning and tune-up by a qualified technician.
• Keep air filters clean. The air filter of central heating system should be replaced once a month during the heating season if a disposable filter is used.
• Have your chimney checked by a qualified chimney sweep and check your fireplace damper to be sure it opens and closes properly.