A number of U.S. utility companies called on customers to conserve electricity due to frigid weather on Saturday and Sunday.
Con Edison, which serves the New York City metropolitan area, asked its 1.1 million natural gas, 3.5 million electric, and other customers in New York City to conserve power. Temperatures in the Big Apple plunged to about 15 degrees F overnight on Saturday and Sunday morning.
“Conserving energy as much as possible now will help ensure adequate natural gas supplies for the rest of the weekend,” Con Edison said late on Saturday. “Owners of natural gas pipelines have reported that equipment problems caused by the cold weather and the heavy demand for natural gas are challenging their ability to provide adequate amounts of gas throughout the Northeast,” the utility company added.
Another, ISO New England, warned Saturday that it has “insufficient reserve supplies” and called on its members to “voluntarily curtail power” due to strain on the power grid, reported Bloomberg.
“We have declared a power caution for the region, and [are] calling upon reserve resources due to the unexpected loss of generation and imports,” ISO New England spokesman Matthew Kakley told Bloomberg News.
Duke Energy, which operates across several states, made a similar demand to customers earlier on Saturday, according to a news release. It cited tight supplies due to heavy energy use and exceptionally cold temperatures.
The release said it is “asking its customers in Ohio and Kentucky to voluntarily reduce usage of all non-essential electricity until 10 a.m. Christmas Day,” which “will help PJM member utilities to continue delivering reliable service during this period of significantly low temperatures across the region.”
Later Saturday, the firm said it would impose rolling blackouts in North and South Carolina on Christmas Eve because of the increased strain on the grid. At one point around noon Saturday, some 340,000 Duke customers were without power.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter that he had talked with Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good “to offer assistance and to express urgency about the need to restore power quickly in this extreme cold while keeping customers accurately informed.”