City of Amarillo and partners call for energy conservation

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The City of Amarillo sent out a press release in response to the extreme weather conditions currently impacting the Texas Panhandle, several community partners have joined together to encourage their fellow community members to conserve energy.

On Tuesday afternoon, leaders from the City of Amarillo, City of Canyon, Potter County, Randall County, Amarillo Independent School District (AISD), Bushland ISD, Canyon ISD, Highland Park ISD, River Road ISD, Atmos Energy and Xcel Energy joined a ZOOM call to discuss current demands on the Panhandle power grid.

Both Atmos and Xcel reported unprecedented demand on the natural gas resources impacting plant fuel sources. As a result, all partners are committed to reducing operations and conserving energy to every extent possible.

The partner organizations are also joining together to request community members join them in their conservation efforts by turning down thermostats to at least 68 degrees;

  • Businesses should minimize energy usage as much as possible.
  • Lower your water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
  • Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
  • Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights not in use.
  • Reduce shower time and avoid baths. Refrain from using large appliances like your washer, dryer, oven and dishwasher for the next few days.
  • When in use, limit opening the oven door to prevent wasted energy.
  • Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning.
  • Avoid using your natural gas fireplace, if possible.
  • If you have a pool, do not use your pool heater. Instead, run your pool pump during the coldest part of the day to circulate the water and prevent freezing.

The City said this strategy cannot succeed without the help of all community members. They are asking all citizens to join them in their conservation efforts by:

  • Turning down thermostats to 68 degrees
  • Turning off most household lights
  • Powering down electronics when possible
  • Avoiding the use of large appliances such as stoves, laundry machines, dishwashers, etc

Absent these efforts, there is the very real possibility that a significant number of gas meters throughout the Texas Panhandle may need to be shut off said the City.

“One thing everybody knows about the Panhandle is that in times of difficulty, we come together,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “We’re in the midst of an historic weather event that is testing our resolve and resources, and I have no doubt that we’ll join together again to take care of each other.”

Canyon Mayor Gary Hinders echoed Mayor Nelson’s comments: “We’ve faced difficulty before. We’ve been tested before,” Hinders said. “There’s no place I’d rather be during a time like this than in the Panhandle of Texas.”

The City met Tuesday in an emergency meeting to discuss energy use in the Amarillo area.

Mayor Nelson said at that meeting that across the state, natural gas companies are having a hard time with the natural gas supply, as it is freezing at the source and is freezing in the pipelines.

Mayor Nelson said that Tuesday night, gas resources are ok in our area, but this is a fluid situation.

Mayor Hinders said we must all come to together to help.

“I’ve lived in the panhandle for a long time and these are unprecedented times and these are unprecedented asks, and we need each other as neighbors and partners,” said Mayor Hinders.

“So we’re asking folks to follow the recommendations that atmos have given us for conserving gas,” said Mayor Nelson.

Mayor Nelson added as of right now, the vaccine clinic at the Amarillo Civic Center will remain closed due to the amount of power it takes to run the building.

She said the city will keep the public updated when that will reopen, but that the vaccine the city has to distribute as a second dose will be safe until the clinic re-opens.

Community members are encouraged to check their local municipality websites and social media outlets for information on closures and resources.

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