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Southwest Power Pool requires area utilities to reduce energy consumption

FOUR STATE AREA — The Southwest Power Pool is monitoring the usage for electric companies and asking some to do controlled power outages.

What does this mean?

It means Missouri and surrounding states have been using more power than there is available. Monday two electric companies were part of the controlled power outages.

Kelli Price, Liberty Utilities, said, “We are asking our customers to help us conserve energy so we can avoid this and its working so first of all a huge thank you to our customers.”

Monday morning the Southwest Power Pool issued an emergency alert level three — which means they were advising electric companies to have controlled outages. Liberty Utilities says they were managing the power shortage by cutting power to 3,600 customers for 50 minutes Monday.

“They required us to reduce load or limit energy so that’s where we went to our industrial commercial customers some of those to request that power be shut down so we could redirect energy.”

SPP has dropped the emergency alert level back to a two — but say that could change if energy consumption becomes high again. Monday Evergy also had controlled outages for 60,000 of its customers keeping the outages between 30 to 60 minutes.

Andrew Baker, Evergy Spokesperson, said, “We tried to make sure we were looking at circuits that didn’t have hospitals or emergency vaccines and we also looked at places where we could get power back on as quickly as possible. It was not clustered in any one community it was spread out throughout our entire service area.”

He says customers should be prepared in case SPP issues another alert.

“Make sure you have a communications plan in place. Make sure all your friends and family are accounted for make sure that your cell phone is charged. Battery operated flashlight in case your lights go out and battery-operated radio is very helpful.”

Both electric companies say the best ways to avoid future controlled outages is to start saving energy now. They are asking customers to avoid using large appliances along with turning off and unplugging computers, chargers, printers, and televisions when they’re not in use.

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