Chelan PUD says energy demand this week could set a record

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Chelan County Public Works photo

Chelan County PUD says frigid temperatures this week could lead to record energy use.

The current Chelan County power-usage record was set on Jan. 4, 2007, when temperature dipped to minus 1. That day there were 491 megawatts of Chelan PUD energy used.

The low overnight tonight in the Wenatchee area is expected to dip to 3 degrees and lows the remainder of the week are forecast to stay in single digits.

The record-tying cold of 1 degree Monday morning led to reports of freezing pipes at residences and businesses.

At 5:41 a.m., a pipe burst in the basement of the Wenatchee Safeway, requiring the repair of a riser pipe.

At 7:33 a.m. the fire department responded after the Tree Top facility on Highway 97A had a sprinkler head break.

PUDs have thus far reported few power outages from the cold and heavy energy usage.

Chelan PUD offered these tips for keeping electric bills from getting out of hand and helping to reduce the energy demand on the PUD:

<> Cozy up with a sweater, not the thermostat. Turn your heat down 1-2 degrees, or the lowest temperature you are comfortable with, and put a sweater and/or blankets on yourself.

<> Let the sun in during the day but close your drapes at night. Take advantage of that solar heat gain but eliminate the heat loss after the sun goes down.

<> Heat where you are. If using baseboards or zonal heating, only heat parts of the home that you will be using.

<> Check your water heating settings. Do not have the thermostat set above 125 degrees.

<> Eliminate drafts from doors. Use a door draft stopper/guard or just a blanket to prevent unwanted heat loss. Minimize how often you are going in/out of your home.

The city of Quincy has these recommendations for avoiding frozen pipes:

<> Leave a small stream of cold water running in your sinks. Even a trickle can help keep your pipes from freezing.

<> Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow heat in. – If you plan to be away from home, leave the heat on.

<> If you encounter a pipe burst, call the city immediately to have your water shut off. Please DO NOT attempt to turn the main line off on your own.