The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas are asking members to voluntarily limit service immediately through midnight Tuesday to ensure overall service is not interrupted.
Members can limit usage by reducing the use of electrical requirements by limiting use of non-essential electricity and appliances, especially electric water heaters, clothes dryers and dishwashers, and to turn heating thermostats to lower settings.
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas, which is comprised of 17 electric distribution cooperatives, says that other electric utilities across Arkansas and surrounding states have reached a level where the demand for electricity has almost exceeded the capacity. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.
The co-op emphasizes that voluntary cooperation is essential, and if the voluntary reductions aren’t enough to maintain what the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas is calling “continuity of service,” they may have to interrupt service to specific areas for limited periods of time.
Co-op representatives are also contacting large and commercial users asking for their cooperation, not just putting the onus on residential customers.
According to the co-op, the interconnections of electricity systems make it possible for one system to secure additional electricity from neighboring systems. However, the extreme cold is causing a strain in the Arkansas region and the strain on the grid is higher than usual.