Energy companies are asking Arkansans to dial back their thermostats and turn off any unnecessary electronics and equipment right now in an attempt to conserve energy. This comes on the heels of a massive spike in energy consumption across the state due to colder temperatures and families staying at home and indoors during the winter weather. But the increased demand on a national level has gas prices at a premium and both natural gas customers and electric customers are feeling the pinch.
Rob Roedel from the Electric Coops Of Arkansas says, "Natural gas prices are at a high... There's also an issue with getting natural gas because so much of it is going towards power plants. Most of our energy now is created by natural gas power plants."
These combined factors could mean your energy bill will skyrocket.
"If your normal bill is $100 and it's 25% more you're going to get $125 bill. If it's extremely cold, it could be even more," Roedel said in an interview on Monday, February 15th.
There are a few things you can do to conserve energy:
- Delay running your laundry and dishwashing machine
- Wait a day or two to take your next shower
- Turn your thermostat down to low to mid 60's
- Unplug any unnecessary appliances.
Ross Corson with CenterPoint Energy says that lowering the thermostat could save you up to 10% on your next bill.
CenterPoint Energy is not looking at doing rolling blackouts right now.
A representative for Entergy Arkansas said there is a potential for planned outages, but right now they are asking their customers to reduce their usage, so that doesn't happen.