Being prepared for a power outage in extreme temperatures could help to keep you and your family safe.
“This is our peak time of the year, largely because of air-conditioning,” said Xcel Energy Spokesperson, Wes Reeves, “Residential customers and commercial customers use a lot of air conditioning.”
Reeves said this summer, Xcel has seen more demand than ever before and it could continue to grow.
“Just a combination of a hot summer and we just continue to see, load growth as we call it in this region.” Reeves added, “As the economy grows, there’s more and more customers and they use more air conditioning.”
Reeves said more demand could cause increased power outages.
“If this does happen on the hottest day, what do you do? You always need to be thinking ahead a little bit about if my lights go out, do I have someone at home who is gonna get sick because it’s too hot? If you have an elderly person or you have small children, you always need to be thinking about a plan b if it’s going to be more than say, 30 minutes to an hour,” Reeves said.
Reeves said in the event you do lose power, being prepared and knowing tips can help.
“One thing people always think about is their food. If you have a pretty decent refrigerator, if you’ll just leave the refrigerator closed, it will keep your food safe for about four hours or so. Open your home up and let some air flow because heat exhaustion is very real and it can happen even to healthy people. If you’re in a stifling home or if you know someone that is, someone who’s elderly and can’t get out, please help them and let the authorities know. It can be a matter of life and death for some people.”
Reeves said there have already been several power outages due to heat this summer, including two reported today. Customers can report outages online or using Xcel’s smartphone app.
According to Reeves, ultimately Xcel hopes to have a more interactive system which will alert customers of power outages even when they are away from home.