June 25, 2009 12:41

In a rare joint press release, SLEMCO and Lafayette Utilities System today warned customers to conserve electricity or face the consequences: “emergency controlled power outages to protect the transmission system from long-term damage.”

With record high temperatures, Acadiana’s electrical infrastructure is being maxed out, and according to the press release the high usage is “causing constraints on the transmission lines.” According to the providers, one scenario for controlling usage would be to interrupt electrical service for 30 minutes in affected areas as “a last resort.”

Tips to control usage, according to SLEMCO and LUS:

•    Customers who need air conditioning should set the thermostat to 80 degrees or higher
•    If possible, customers should use fans instead of air conditioners
•    Don’t use major appliances, such as electric dryers, ranges, washing machines and dehumidifiers — if necessary, shift their use to night-time hours
•    Close blinds, drapes and curtains during the heat of the day
•    Turn off unnecessary lights and refrain from using computers

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