(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company continue to encourage customers to use energy wisely and voluntarily conserve energy while temperatures remain extreme. Customers’ efforts can help reduce demand on the energy system as the commonwealth continues to battle some of the coldest temperatures on record hitting the region.
"Our system is sound and operating as intended because it's designed with these types of extreme temperatures and winter conditions in mind; however, we're also supplying a record amount of energy to our customers and our employees are working around the clock to meet our customers' needs," said Paul W. Thompson, Chief Operating Officer for LG&E and KU. "As a precaution, we're asking our customers to help us ease the demand on our system by voluntarily reducing their energy usage while temperatures remain extreme."
On Monday, Jan. 6, customers across the LG&E and KU service territories set several new peak energy demand records.
The LG&E and KU combined electric systems set a new all-time winter peak record of 7,106 megawatts. To help put that in perspective, this surpasses the previous all-time winter peak electric record of 6,555 megawatts set in 2009.
In addition, LG&E experienced a peak electric demand of 2,096 megawatts at 7 p.m., which exceeded the previous all-time winter peak electric record, as well as the record for the month of January, for LG&E.
LG&E also set a new all-time natural gas system record of 557 million cubic feet of natural gas usage in a 24-hour period. This exceeded the previous 24-hour record of 538 million cubic feet of natural gas set in 1985.
KU experienced a peak electric demand of 5,027 megawatts at 9 p.m., which exceeded the previous all-time system peak electric record of 4,640 megawatts set in 2009.
Although LG&E and KU are successfully meeting the increased energy demand, the utilities are encouraging customers to take simple energy efficiency steps to help lower energy consumption during this cold snap.
Adjust your thermostat to lowest comfortable setting. If you’re going to be gone for more than four hours turn the thermostat down several degrees as well.
Reduce reliance on other heating sources.
Wear extra layers such as a sweatshirt or sweater.
Add extra blankets to the bed.
Close the fireplace damper and doors when not in use unless you have a gas fireplace.
Use draft stoppers for windows and doors.
Turn off all unnecessary lights and appliances.
Run your dishwashers, dryers and washing machines only when full.
Open curtains, drapes and/or blinds in the daytime to let the sun's heat in your home and close them at night to retain the heat.
Furniture or drapes should not block air registers.
Use a microwave oven or a slow cooker or prepare cold meals. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook food in about one-fourth the time.
What is a peak energy demand?
In the energy industry, the energy "load" is the amount of energy a system is using at any given time. During the year, the amount of energy needed — or the "energy demand" — fluctuates, depending on factors like how much energy customers are using, the weather conditions and the time of day. When demand for electricity is at its highest, it’s called a "peak" period.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 318,000 natural gas and 393,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 539,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at lge-ku.com and pplweb.com.