Utility companies asking customers to conserve energy due to high demand

JOPLIN, Mo. – People across the four-states are being told to prepare for possible rolling blackouts as electricity demand exceeds what’s produced. We spoke with Liberty Utilities about what to expect and how we all can help.

The Southwest Power Pool, which is made up of dozens of utility providers from the Mexico border to the Canadian border, issued a level three energy emergency alert, meaning demand on all of their member utilities is out pacing the ability to produce energy.

Evergy and Liberty are two of the major utilities in our area on the Southwest Power Pool. All of the members have been asked to implement controlled, temporary emergency electricity reductions to help reduce that demand. For some, that included residential customers, Liberty officials say they’re trying to avoid that. Kelli Price with Liberty Utilities says “Our first step is to work with our industrial and commercial customers, we had already been working with those customers to curtail energy use and so we began working with those customers to shut down power, that helped allow that energy to go back to the grid to help serve our residential customers.”

Another step Liberty is taking is expanding the peak alert from beyond just the normal peak hours. “We expanded that for all hours and we’re still asking our customers to please conserve energy where it’s safe to do so until midnight on Tuesday.”

Price says it’s important for customers to conserve as much as possible. “We recognize it’s definitely not a convenient time to conserve energy, it is bitterly cold, but we’re asking this of our customers so we can avoid longer term outages.”

Price says there are a few things you can do at home that can go a long way to keeping the lights on. “Certainly, lowering the thermostat by a couple of degrees, you know 68 degrees is what the recommended winter temperature is, if you can lower it a little below that if it’s safe for you to do that, we would ask that you do that, avoid energy consuming activities if you can, things like running your dishwasher, running your laundry, if you’re looking for an excuse not to do laundry I’m giving it to you, you don’t need to do it.”

Price also recommends turning the temperature on your hot water heater to 120°. She also wants to thank customers for already doing their part in conserving energy and she wants everyone to thank the line crews out ensuring power outages from the storm don’t last longer than they need to.

Liberty Utilities alerts customers of planned power outages

Evergy plans electric outages after SPP issues Energy Emergency Alert

Energy Emergency Alert: companies ask for power conservation, warn of outages

Winter Safety Tips

Road Conditions & Outages


KOAM List: Warming centers open in the 4-States

The 4-States experiences dangerously cold temperatures. Here’s a list of warming centers open, opening or planned in the 4-States. You can contact each location about donating or volunteering.


  • Joplin
    • Byers Avenue United Methodist Church
      • Officials say they can only have ten people at the most due to COVID restrictions. They’ve had a number of items donated to help those that are in need of shelter including food and blankets. The church will also be providing snacks and a to-go treat bag for people in the morning when they leave. The shelter is open from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and is located at the corner of 17th and Byers in Joplin. The church is also providing masks, hand sanitizer and even showers if needed.
    • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
      • St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on West 26th street in Joplin is open from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and will open at that time each day Monday – Friday.
    • Minnie Hackney Community Center
      • The Minnie Hackney Community Center at 110 South Main is open as a warming center. They’re providing hot food and drinks, as well as warm sleeping quarters for anyone in need. They’ll be open all day through Tuesday.
    •  Lamar
      • Lamar Memorial Hall
          • In the City of Lamar, they’re opening the Lamar Memorial Hall at 11th and Broadway from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. They ask that you do not bring animals to the warming center. For more information on that shelter, you’re asked to call the Lamar Fire Department.
  • Carterville


  • Fort Scott
    • In the event of power outages, the City of Fort Scott has identified Buck Run Community Center as a warming center for the public. This warming center is not staffed to provide services, but is a safe places to get warm. (Buck Run Community Center – 735 Scott Ave, Fort Scott, KS 66701)
  • Pittsburg
    • Lincoln Community Center at 710 West 9th Street
      • A 24-hour emergency warming shelter has been established in Pittsburg for those seeking refuge from the extreme cold. The Progressive Lateral Aid Network (PLAN) of Pittsburg is coordinating the effort in collaboration with the City of Pittsburg. The shelter is located at Lincoln Center, 710 W. 9th St. next to the Pittsburg Aquatic Center. PLAN is asking for donations of cots, sleeping bags, hygiene equipment, and non-perishable food items. Please bring all donations to the east or west doors of the Lincoln Center. This emergency shelter will be open until 9:00 am Wednesday, Feb. 17. The facility has a limited capacity of 20 individuals. Masks must be worn at all times while inside Lincoln Center. Masks will be provided for those who do not have them. For additional information, contact PLAN Communications Coordinator Shane Adcock at theplanforpittsburg@gmail.com.


  • Miami
    • New Hope Christian Church
      • In Miami, the New Hope Christian Church at 2221 Rockdale is open now until the need passes. They are providing food, cots, blankets and clothes to those who come in for shelter.

If your organization has a warming center and would like to be added to the list, email sstrader@koamtv.com


Lifeguard courses to be offered at the YMCA in Neosho

NEOSHO, Mo. — There is an opportunity to get your lifeguard certification before summer starts.

The YMCA in Neosho will be offering a lifeguard course to get your lifeguard V6, CPR, emergency oxygen, and AR certifications.

Participants will learn how to save a conscious and unconscious victim, spinal victims, and how to safely enter the water.

The course will have written and practical tests that can prepare them for when they hit the water.

All swimmers must be 16 and pass a prerequisite swim test on the first day of class.

Grant Strickland Aquatics Coordinator, says, “Class sizes are limited the sooner you can get that knocked out that’s really the biggest–biggest hurtle our obstacle for us to hire you as a lifeguard we need you to have that certification.. so sooner the better it’ll be here quick.”

If you would like more information on the pricing and class dates, you can find the link here .


JPD advising to stay home as much as possible and give yourself time to get to destination

MISSOURI — Multiple agencies are warning that snow and freezing temperatures are causing roads to be slick.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is saying heavy snow is on the way.

MoDOT is telling drivers to give snowplows room on the roads and do not crowd them or try to pass.

The Joplin Police Department is telling the community to stay home unless there is an emergency and give yourself more time to get to your destination


Spire Energy advising to conserve natural gas

MISSOURI — Spire Energy is asking Missouri customers to conserve natural gas during this Winter blast.

They say the cold weather is causing a demand for natural gas — but the weather is also causing natural gas wells to freeze in some parts of the country.

Spire is asking customers to conserve energy by turning their thermostats down a few degrees, limiting the use of natural gas fireplaces and closing curtains at night to reduce cold from drafty windows.


Local electric company advising to reduce energy consumption

MISSOURI — Meanwhile Liberty Electric is issuing a peak advisory for electric customers.

Due to the extreme cold and fuel supply issues they’re asking customers to reduce energy consumption starting Sunday night through Tuesday.

To conserve energy they’re asking customers to set thermostats to 65 degrees and postpone nonessential energy use along with turning off and unplugging computers, chargers, printers, and televisions when they’re not in use.


Victims have lost up to $60,000 in romance scams

MISSOURI — Love is in the air, and so are scams.

The Better Business Bureau is warning of popular online romance scams that are making its rounds.

The BBB says the most common scheme is when scammers pretend to be a single mom or dad in the military.

They say scammers usually target older people especially around Valentine’s Day.

The BBB says before joining a dating website to look for love check to see if they have the demographic you are looking for and beware of some free dating sites.

Stephanie Garland, Regional Director of Springfield BBB, says, “Make sure you do your research because what we are finding is that on legitimate dating apps and ones that haven’t been vetted really well scammers just want to hangout and try to steal money from people.”

She says victims have lost up to $60,000 from romance scams.


Ways to cope with anxiety during Valentines Day

JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’re single on Valentine’s Day and feeling alone, therapists say there are some ways to stay optimistic.

A therapist at Freeman Health System says the holiday can highlight loneliness and cause some people to feel anxiety if they’re alone.

They recommend staying optimistic and celebrating the positives in your life.

She says the way we interpret the holiday can make a big impact on how we feel.

Joelleen Lowe, Therapist at Hope Spring Ozark Center, says, “A holiday is intended to be something that we can use to enhance our quality of life. It’s not the other way around. It’s not that we are supposed to fit the holiday, so make the holiday fit you.”

If you’re alone, she recommends doing something special for yourself or spending time with loved ones.


Beef Cattle Conference kicks off this week via Zoom

MISSOURI — The online Southwest Missouri MU Extension Beef Cattle Conference kicks off this week.

The University of Missouri Extension is teaming up with the “Missouri Small Business Development Center for Agriculture, Food and Forestry” along with NRCS and MU grasslands project.

The virtual event will teach stocker cattle nutritional and health management…Along with business management…Covid-19 considerations and more.

The free conference will be held via zoom on February 16-18 at 7 P.M.

Registration is open until Monday — to sign up go here .