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City Utilities warns of ‘peak’ electricity demand, shares tips on conserving power

City Utilities of Springfield, photographed Aug. 9, 2022.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
City Utilities of Springfield, photographed Aug. 9, 2022.

Amid an excessive heat warning that runs through 10 p.m. Thursday night, Springfield's power grid is dealing with "peak" electricity demand for the year.

As the Springfield area saw temperatures top 100 degrees on Monday, City Utilities alerted the public that a new peak level of electricity demand for 2023 was established. This year’s peak level is trending toward beating last year’s. CU said heat and humidity forecasts make them believe that impacts on electric systems will continue to increase as this week goes on.

In a news release Monday evening, CU president and CEO Gary Gibson said CU employees are working "continuously" to provide electric service and they're ready "should unexpected circumstances arise."

CU released several tips to conserve energy to help the grid keep up with demand. They include using a smart thermostat, changing air filters, closing drapes and shades during the day and turning ceiling fans counterclockwise to force cool air downwards.

Try cooking with a microwave, crockpot or air fryer rather than a heat- or energy-intensive oven, and replace incandescent light bulbs with LED ones.

In case of power outages, call CU at 1-888-863-9001.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.