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MLGW Asks Customers to Reduce Energy Use to Avoid Likelihood of Rolling Blackouts

Memphis Light Gas and Water is asking customers —as of 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon—to voluntarily cutback on their energy use.

Prolonged subfreezing temperatures locally and throughout the southern region have created an "unusually" high demand for electricity provided by the Tennessee Valley Authority, according to a press release from MLGW.

The head of MLGW, Doug McGowen, said on Monday that quick and collective action to limit energy consumption if called for would reduce the likelihood of mandatory rolling blackouts.

MLGW issued the following recommendations:

• If you are drying clothes, turn the machine off and let the items continue air drying. The clothes dryer is a huge energy hog.

• Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower to avoid unnecessary operation of the blower on
your furnace or electric heat pump.

• Unplug electric vehicles.

• Turn off all electric space heaters.

• Turn off all interior lights during the day and keep on only enough light at night to feel safe. Don’t forget indoor and outdoor holiday lights, as well as your outside porch light.

• Do not run the clothes washing machine or the dishwasher, and if possible do not use the electric range or electric oven for cooking during the conservation alert.

• Do not use blow dryers, toasters, or other high consumption appliances that use electric resistance as their heat source.

• Keep the refrigerator and freezer on, but keep the doors closed. Every time the door is opened
the inside warms up a bit and energy is needed to bring the temperature back down.

• Turn off and unplug everything that isn’t in use and turn off electric power strips. That way you cut vampire energy use as well.