Entergy customers asked to conserve electricity as frigid temperatures linger

Entergy customers in Arkansas have been asked to conserve power Thursday morning

Entergy has asked customers in Arkansas to conserve electricity Thursday morning so its power reliability coordinator can meet high energy demands connected to frigid temperatures.

The company said in a news release that Midcontinent Independent System Operator, one of the largest regional transmission companies in the nation, has requested that Entergy customers reduce their electricity usage between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Thursday.

Entergy's power coordinator, also known as MISO, made the request "due to higher than expected demand for power and unexpected power generator outages" in its southern service region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The region is one of several that has seen bitterly cold temperatures and snowfall as a blast of arctic air moves through the country.

"The higher than expected demand is due to the unusually cold temperatures that moved into the territory over the past few days," the release says.

The transmission company has reportedly made similar requests of utility companies in its midwest service region.

"If the power supply cannot meet the demand, then periodic power outages would be needed," the release says.

Entergy said customers can reduce electricity during the requested time period by lowering thermostats below 68 degrees, waiting until later in the day to bathe and wash dishes, and filling household gaps and holes through which warm air may be escaping.

Entergy provides power to about 700,000 customers in 63 counties in Arkansas.

The company isn't the only one that's seen high energy demands.

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, which generates and transmits power for 17 electric distribution cooperatives in the state, reported that it passed its January 2014 record for energy demand by 5 percent on Tuesday.

The North Arkansas Electric Cooperative said Wednesday morning that it had also set a new record for energy demand. It beat its previous record, set in 2014, by at least 8 percent.

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