Red Deer power supply holds up well during recent cold snap

By Sheldon Spackman
January 3, 2018 - 1:07pm

Despite the frigid temperatures across central Alberta and much of the country over the past couple of weeks, the City of Red Deer’s power supply managed to meet increased demand.

Electric, Light and Power Manager Jim Jorgensen says the fortunate thing was that we had a very mild spell lead-up to the cold snap, so there was very little worry the grid could handle the uptick.

“By comparison, if you look at December of 2016, our consumption was about 74 million kilowatt hours,” says Jorgensen. “December of 2017, even with the cold week, we were at 71.5 million kilowatt hours, so lower than last year and I do recall, I think we even had a longer, prolonged cold snap last year.”

Jorgensen says cold spells like the one we just went through usually result in a 5-10 per cent increase in demand over what seasonal temperatures usually require.

In terms of power outages over the Christmas season, Jorgensen reveals only one in Morrisroe came to their attention.

“It was just a fuse that had let go,” explains Jorgensen. “We had about 70 customers that were impacted for a couple of hours. Our guys went out, traced the trouble, found it and repaired it within two, two and a half hours.”

Jorgensen reminds you to call the city’s Electric, Light and Power Department immediately if your power goes out.

“We don’t want to delay, we have people that respond as fast as we possibly can,” says Jorgensen. “So the second somebody is out of power, they should be phoning in to one of our lines to report it because then we can go in and figure out what’s going on and fix it as fast as we can. Also, if they do lose power and it’s getting chillier, don’t do things like bringing BBQ’s inside and those sorts of things because you create carbon monoxide issues and fire hazards and that type of thing.”

If you experience a power outage, call the City of Red Deer’s Electric, Light and Power department at 403-342-8274. The after-hours number to call is 403-348-5700.

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