***UPDATED: City of Torrington urgently asks residents to conserve energy

Black Hills Energy provides tips to stay warm while conserving energy

TORRINGTON – The city of Torrington has announced the energy emergency is no longer in effect, according to Torrington Clerk/Treasurer Lynette Strecker.

TORRINGTON – The city of Torrington is urgently asking customers to cut down on their power and natural gas usage to mitigate the risk of potential power outages due to extreme cold weather and increased regional demand.

Customers are urged to lower their thermostats by three degrees, unplug unnecessary appliances, close fireplace dampers and refrain from large appliance use as much as possible.

Our community’s wholesale power supplier, the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) is a member of Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which oversees the power grid of an area stretching from Oklahoma to the Canadian border. SPP has declared Energy Emergency Alerts (EEA) that remain in effect until further notice. Due to widespread and extreme cold, worsening conditions are creating energy deficiencies in the region and may lead to controlled service interruptions.

Additionally, extremely high demand is causing wholesale electricity and natural gas prices to skyrocket. Conservation efforts and immediately reducing demand in our region is in everyone’s best interest. The city of Torrington appreciates our customers’ assistance in conserving electricity and natural gas to help mitigate grid interruptions during these extremely cold conditions.

From Black Hills Energy

As current artic conditions continue to impact large sections of the country, we’re closely monitoring the situation to ensure the impact on homes and businesses is minimized.

“To date, our system has performed as intended. We have worked to ensure homes stay warm, but we need your help,” said Mark Stege, Vice President of Operations for Wyoming. “There are steps you can take today to minimize the financial burden and reduce increased energy use generated by these frigid temperatures.”

Here are some tips to keep your family warm while the demand for energy is so high:

  • If health concerns aren’t a factor, set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and reduce it two to three degrees while you’re away from home or sleeping.
  • Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry or washing dishes can use energy to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, only wash full loads using cold water, air dry your clothes, or even better, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities.
  • Check your furnace filter – make sure it’s clean and properly installed facing the correct direction.
  • Make sure your furnace vent, gas fireplace vent and tankless/conventional water heater vents are free from any obstructions or debris.
  • Adjust your humidity. A well-humidified house at 68 degrees is as comfortable as a dry house at 75 degrees.
  • Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans only as needed. In just one hour, these fans can exhaust a house full of warmed air.
  • Reduce hot water usage. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads and take short showers instead of baths. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees or put it on the “warm” setting.

Black Hills Energy also realizes increased nationwide usage could result in higher bills, and there are a number of resources available to support customers:

  • The easiest way for families to access emergency assistance funds is to call 211, and a representative will connect them with a utility assistance case worker in their area.
  • Customers in the Black Hills Energy service territory are eligible for Black Hills Cares funds, a utility assistance program made possible by donations from fellow customers. The Black Hills Energy Foundation matches those donations at 100%.
  • The state Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) application period is currently open: https://www.lieapwyo.org/
  • Energy Share of Wyoming applications can be found here: http://www.energyshareofwyoming.org/
  • Budget Billing is a free, stable payment option offered by Black Hills Energy that makes bills more predictable by averaging the amount you pay each month so you can avoid spikes in a bill caused by seasonal anomalies.

“There has been widespread energy demand across the country, and our reliable system and team is ready to respond to the historic cold. We applaud and appreciate the businesses who have scaled down their energy usage to allow more capacity for homes. They’ve set a good example of steps we can all take to ensure we’re collectively resilient through this storm.

We appreciate all energy conservation efforts that can be made during these periods of extreme cold. While we always work to ensure affordable, reliable energy, please be aware that higher energy demands will likely impact your energy bill. Collectively, the steps we can all take to limit our energy usage while staying safe will help keep the energy affordable.

As a safety reminder, never use grills or cooking appliances to heat your home and be sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. Click here for additional safety tips and for all your energy needs, visit blackhillsenergy.com or give us a call at 888-890-5554.



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