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Entergy, Cleco asking customers to lower power use Wednesday to avoid rolling blackouts

Freezing weather is causing a critical shortage of electricity in our area.

NEW ORLEANS — Entergy and Cleco are asking customers to use less power with another night of freezing temperatures ahead for the New Orleans area.

Freezing weather is causing a critical shortage of electricity in our area. It got so bad Tuesday night that Entergy and Cleco implemented rotating black outs in New Orleans and on the Northshore to preserve the integrity of the power grid.

Both energy compaies asked customers to be especially conservative between the normally heavy use times of 5 pm to 10 pm.

"This unusual request is due to the demand for electricity potentially exceeding the available generation due to the extreme cold and weather conditions currently impacting our service territory," said Lee Sabatini, the Entergy New Orleans Communications Director. "Current load forecasts are approaching an all-time peak, even greater than those experienced during the polar vortex of January 2019."

That could happen again tonight, according to New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno.

To conserve electricity and help keep the power on, residents are asked to do the following: 

  • Lower the central thermostat to 68 degrees and adjust window units accordingly.
  • Use energy-efficient ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air to help with your comfort.
  • Open blinds, drapes and curtains to let in warmth from the sun.
  • Delay laundry, washing dishes, bathing and other non-essential uses of electricity until this appeal for conservation has ended.
  • Wash clothes with cold water, cook foods at the lowest possible setting and refrain from opening the oven door while baking.
  • Don’t allow warmed air to escape from the home.

“Unfortunately, we don’t receive much advance notice before being forced to implement rolling power outages.  Customers should heed this public appeal as a notice for possible power outages,” said Jennifer Cahill, director of corporate communications at Cleco. “This unusual request is necessary because power demand may potentially exceed available supply due to extremely cold temperatures and generation constraints.”

Tuesday's outages lasted a couple hours.

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