PSC wants to know why residents were asked to conserve energy this week in the cold

January 19, 2018 - 4:24 pm
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(WWL.com)

The Louisiana Public Service Commission wants to know why utility customers were asked to reduce energy consumption for a time Thursday morning over concerns the grids may not be able to handle the high demand in the cold. PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta says nobody's power was going to be shut off.

"The problem is when we run out of local electricity and have to go to the market, it could cost more and we don't want that to happen," said Skrmetta.

Skrmetta says the situation was bad enough yesterday that industrial customers were warned that their power could be turned off which flows to households. He says there is no reason that should ever happen and it's the PSC's job to make sure that power is always there for consumers to use.

"And it's ultimately not our job to tell people to conserve unless there is an issue," said Skrmetta. "We need to get to the bottom of why the operator felt the action of asking people to conserve needed to be taken."

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which manages the flow of electricity, said they had set a record Wednesday morning for peak winter power usage.

Skrmetta says the PSC's ultimate goal is to make sure the resources are there, and that people have what they need to live their lives.

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