Energy companies ask customers in Arkansas to reduce their energy consumption

The problem isn’t the power outages with this wintry weather, but the record-breaking power consumption that’s happening across the state.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Power companies are seeing record power consumption as people hide indoors.

Rob Roedel of Electric Cooperative of Arkansas says the next 36 hours are crucial for people to be aware of how much energy they are using.

CenterPoint Energy sees the same thing…even when asking heavy consumers of electricity to reduce their consumption.

“Commercial and industrial customers who tend to be larger users of natural gas have scaled up and down,” said Ross Corson of CenterPoint Energy.

The increased use of electricity is due to more people being home and trying to stay warm during these freezing temperatures, but there is also a national reason why demand for natural gas is so high.

“Natural gas prices are at an elevated level,” Roedel said. “There is also a problem with the supply of natural gas, as much of it goes to power stations. Most of our energy is now created by natural gas-fired power stations.”

All of these things combined could mean your energy bill is going to skyrocket.

“If your normal bill is $100 and that’s 25% more, you’ll get a $125 bill. If it’s extremely cold, it could be even higher,” Roedel said.

But there are things you can do to help ease the tension.

To save energy, delay running your washing machine and dishwasher, wait a day or two for your next shower, lower your thermostat to 60°C, and unplug any unnecessary appliances.

According to Ross Corson of CenterPoint Energy, simply turning down the thermostat could save you up to 10% on your next bill.

CenterPoint Energy does not plan to experience any power outages at this time.

A representative from Entergy Arkansas said there is potential for planned outages, but right now they are asking their customers to reduce their usage, so that doesn’t happen.

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