1/7/2015

Kentucky Power prepares as frigid winter weather set to affect customers

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Power is ready and is encouraging its customers to prepare, too, as arctic air is expected to send temperatures and wind chills below zero Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for 7 p.m. Wednesday until 10 a.m. Thursday for Eastern Kentucky. Forecasts also call for light snow and brisk winds that could bring down tree limbs and power lines and interrupt service.

“We are monitoring the conditions and are preparing for increased demands on our electrical system, especially during peak hours this evening and early in morning,” said Everett Phillips, Kentucky Power’s managing director of distribution operations. “In addition, Kentucky Power crews and contract workers are on alert to respond quickly in the event outages do occur.”

PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, including Kentucky, predicted consumers in those states will use a total of 132,000 megawatts of electricity Wednesday night and 134,600 megawatts Thursday morning. PJM said Wednesday that the electricity supply is expected to meet demands.

When the temperatures plummet to such lows, the demand for electricity often goes up as customers turn up the thermostat to counter the bitter cold. Doing so can result in sporadic power outages by taxing equipment. Consumers can take simple conservation steps that can help:

• Decrease thermostat settings to the lowest comfortable level, if health permits.

• Postpone use of major electric appliances, such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers, until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases.

• Turn off unused and unneeded lights and electrical appliances.

Customers who lose service can report their outage to Kentucky Power by calling the customer service center toll-free at 1-800-572-1113. During times of high call volume callers may hear a recorded message and can leave a message about their outage.

Those customers with access to a charged laptop, smartphone or tablet can report an outage online at kentuckypower.com. They also can check the website for individual outage details. Customers can prepare for outages by assembling an emergency kit with flashlights and fresh batteries; candles, matches, or lighters; water for drinking and cooking; canned goods and a manual can opener, and other supplies. A mobile cell phone charger also is useful.

Kentucky Power, a unit of American Electric Power with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., serves approximately 172,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties.

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