Entergy seeing highest demand in 3 years during winter freeze event

(WAFB) - Entergy says natural gas consumption in south Louisiana during this current cold weather event is the highest the company has seen in three years.

The company says customers will see their current usage on their next bill, with some bills arriving as soon as the end of this month.

The company says south Louisiana customers are currently using more natural gas than they did during peak demands of 2015 and 2016. The consumption amount "rivals the consumption levels observed during the arctic weather event of January 2014," said Entergy spokesman, David Freese.

Electricity is also in high demand. Tuesday morning, consumption by customers of numerous MISO utility providers reached near the 2014 peak electricity consumption levels, officials said. MISO, or Midcontinent Independent System Operator, is one of the largest regional transmission organizations and manages the flow of power on the grid and operates electricity markets spanning from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Entergy provided the following energy-saving tips:

  • Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during the winter months. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill.
  • Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees if away from home for several days
  • Make sure you replace your air filters regularly and get your heating unit checked
  • Don’t block heat registers for cold air returns with curtains or furniture
  • Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium
  • When you change your light bulbs, replace them with newer, energy-efficient models that use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs
  • Keep all doors and windows closed. Constant traffic in and out will let out the warm air, forcing your heater to work harder to keep the room at the temperature you set.
  • Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around your doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.
  • Let the sun shine through. If you have drapes or blinds, open them. The sun is a natural heater that can keep you comfortable on cold winter days. Keep in the heat at night by closing them after the sun has set.

The company also reminded customers about the possible fire dangers associated with using space heaters and urged everyone to check the batteries in smoke detectors. Never leave space heaters unattended.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.