BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Power asked customers to #LightentheLoad over social media Tuesday night, as current conditions across the west are leading to higher strain on the grid.
Despite the increased demand, Idaho Power does not expect rolling outages.
“A couple thing we’re seeing that everyone is seeing is we’re experiencing significant temperatures, especially for September," Senior VP and Chief Operations Officer for Idaho Power, Adam Richins said. "These temperatures are almost 20 degrees above average, so pretty significant, but the other thing is we’re experiencing wildfires across the state. So, these fires have and continue to impact our system and can burn through our transmission lines.”
With more people turning up their AC during hotter weather, Idaho Power is reminding customers that it's always a good time to save energy.
“It’s times like these that conservation, we think, is always important," Richins said. "It not only helps reduce strain on the grid, but it also helps the wallet because you spend less on energy. So, we think it’s a win-win."
To conserve energy, and save money, Idaho Power recommends to turn up your thermostat a few degrees. The best time to do so is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m..
Closing shades and using fans are other ways to cut back on energy consumption.
Other states have had similar issues with power demand. On Tuesday, California saw a record strain on their energy grid and went into a flex alert to avoid power outages.
Richins does not expect Idaho's energy strain will be that severe.
"This is what we train for. We have experienced operators and engineers that are working to ensure that we keep the lights on, I think it’s about 99.9% of the time," Richins said. "We do that and we maintain our system really well so we don’t expect rolling outages, but certainly unanticipated events like fires taking out our lines can happen. So, we’re not absolutely immune to it.”
Idaho Power is just asking users to cut back on energy consumption. There's no requirement or mandate on how much energy customers are allowed to use.
While rolling outages aren't expected. Unexpected outages from fires and high winds are always a possibility. For more energy-saving tips, visit idahopower.com/save.
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