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Huntsville Utilities on 'Conservative Operations Alert' during heatwave

With heat indexes expected in the triple digits, Huntsville Utilities is working to keep your power on.

Posted: Aug 12, 2019 6:17 PM

Huntsville Utilities is monitoring the power grid to make sure you don't have any problems during the heatwave. It said there has never been a widespread outage due to heat.

While your power bill may be higher this month because of the heat, you don't want to touch your thermostat and put more pressure on your system.

Huntsville Utilities said maintaining service for all customers is important for extremely hot and cold days, and they work with the Tennessee Valley Authority to make sure the system doesn't get overloaded. Joe Gehrdes, a department spokesman, said the Authority put Huntsville Utilities on alert Sunday night.

"It's called a Conservative Operations Alert. It just puts all the utilities on notice that there is going to be high demand throughout the valley because of this weather, so to be ready because anything can happen," he said.

He said you can expect your bill to go up, but that's the cost of these high temperatures and triple digit heat indexes.

"Usage is going to be higher unless you turn your AC off, and we don't recommend you do that in heat like this. It's dangerously hot outside," Gehrdes said.

If an outage were to happen during the heat, Gehrdes said it could be caused by a problem that was previously undetected.

"That piece of equipment was probably damaged in a prior event like a lightning storm and the damage wasn't significant enough for the problem to reveal itself until we hit a high demand period. That equipment was under some stress trying to deliver electricity," he explained.

Gehrdes says to keep your bill lower, don't add heat to your home. Avoid cooking inside and instead, try cooking outside. Also, keep your windows and doors shut, and keep your blinds closed when it's sunlight.

This notice from TVA isn't the first Huntsville Utilities has received this year because of the heat. The notices don't normally last too long.

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