LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – All this cold weather has caused electricity usage to go up quite a bit throughout Arkansas.
It was so cold Wednesday morning that the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative reported record breaking electricity demand set back in 2014. The company said it exceeded the record by eight percent.
In central Arkansas, there was not anything record breaking, but we did also see peak amount of demands for electricity Monday morning.
"We have enough supply, but the demand for electric is certainly high today,” Michael Consodine with Entergy said.
Consodine said the peak in electricity usage is most likely due to people cranking up the heat on their thermostats.
“That creates more demand and the units run longer, so they don't cycle like they would in 30 degree weather,” he said.
He also said the increase in demand luckily did not result in many power outages.
“Currently, as of [Wednesday] afternoon, we’re down to about 2,500 customers out of power out of 700,000 customers,” Consodine said.
Jill Ponder, who works for North Little Rock Electric, cautioned against the usage of devices such as space heaters which she said can cause big spikes in your personal electricity usage.
"You just want to use it for a little while in certain areas. But if that's what you're relying on completely, that's going to cause your electric bill to be a little higher,” Jill Ponder said.
Due to the low temperatures, she's expecting some people to experience higher bills this month.
"Just kind of similar to what happens in the summer when you have air conditioning and you're trying to keep it cool if it's hot, it's going to run longer, so same scenario in the winter,” she said.
Ponder recommends setting your thermostat at 68 degrees to keep costs down.
"So, that's where we'll see people who are like ‘Oh, why is my bill so high?’ Well, you go in and look and you will have electric heating so of course that's going to run all the time because it's so cold,” Ponder said.
Ponder said if you do feel like your bill is higher than usual, then you can ask for a professional to come help.
“They can offer low cost tips. So, know that you’re not alone and if you would like someone to look at your home, we’d be happy to come out and save you money,” Ponder said.
Consodine said the high power usage should not cause any power outages, but if your neighborhood does experience one to report it directly to Entergy.
You can do so by calling 1-800-9-OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243).
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