Seattle-area utility company asks residents to cut down on electricity use as temps plunge

"Due to the extreme cold temperatures facing our area, regional utilities are experiencing higher energy use than forecasted, and we need to reduce strain on the grid.”

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
While temperatures were well below freezing in Washington state, a Seattle-area utility company asked customers to limit the use of natural gas and electricity.

After sporadic outages in part of the Seattle area and rolling blackouts on Saturday while temperatures were below 18 degrees, Puget Sound Energy sent emails to customers and posted on social media at approximately 6 pm, “We are asking customers to conserve natural gas and electricity use through the evening hours. Due to the extreme cold temperatures facing our area, regional utilities are experiencing higher energy use than forecasted, and we need to reduce strain on the grid.”

The company added, “This evening, we’re asking customers to set their thermostats at a lower setting and limit the use of hot water, such as dishwashing or clothes washing, dryers, and other appliances. We appreciate your assistance in supporting our communities throughout the region.”

PSE provides natural gas to over 900,000 customers and electricity to approximately 1.2 million customers in the area.

The company repeated the request on Sunday.

Customers slammed the utility company in response to the notice. Many mocked the company’s embrace of green initiatives, Governor Jay Inslee’s ban on gas-powered cars that is scheduled to begin in 2035, and Democrat’s attempts to breach the Snake River hydroelectric dams.

PSE came under fire last year for attempting to conceal an increase in its natural gas rates to cover the costs of Washington’s cap-and-trade program, part of the Climate Commitment Act, which was passed by the Democrat-controlled state legislature and signed into law by Inslee.

The company also endorsed Democrat-backed House Bill 1589, a bill that would have prohibited the company from extending natural gas to new buildings, had it passed.

According to the Seattle Times, there was an outage at the Jackson Prairie Underground Natural Gas Storage Facility on Saturday, which PSE co-owns and provides up to 25 percent of the Pacific Northwest’s winter needs, but the company did not mention it in announcements, and the outage occurred after the rolling blackouts were reported. According to the outlet, it was back online just after 7 pm, but PSE still sent out another conservation notice on Sunday.
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