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February 17, 5:00 PM:

Short Outages Expected in the Coming Days.

Thank you for your continued efforts in conserving energy. Your willingness to turn down your thermostat, divert usage of large appliances, and turn off lights is keeping the power on.

The Southwest Power Pool is currently experiencing a Level 1 threat to the system. While this is great news, this can change quickly and dramatically. Our greatest cause for concern at this point is the prediction of temperatures dropping to single digits overnight in the coming days. We ask that members prepare for short controlled outages in the coming days, especially those members who have yet to experience an outage. We will make every effort to give you advance warning, but know that sometimes the need is immediate and extreme.

If an interruption occurs in your area, we will send emails, posts on social media, phone calls and text messages as soon as possible. Please make sure that your preferred type of communication is selected in the MyOEC app or web portal. These outages will be controlled and will last less than 2 hours to minimize the impact. Thank you for your diligence. By working together, we are making a large impact.

Stay safe and warm,
OEC

 

February 16, 7:00 PM:

Short Service Interruption Outages Expected in the Coming Days.

 Be prepared.

While the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has currently stopped temporary service interruptions, we anticipate further interruptions in the coming days. In the 60 year history of the SPP, our region has never reached a Level 3 rolling black out like we have in the recent days. With many of our members currently working from home, running businesses, completing virtual school and caring for their families in this arctic weather, the demand for electricity is great. We anticipate that the greatest strain on the system—and the most likely time for a controlled outage—will be in the morning between the hours of 6 AM and 11 AM (although it can happen at any time).

While the SPP has not yet indicated that short-term service interruptions will resume, all members should be prepared—especially those members who have not yet experienced an outage. If interruptions resume, we will do our best to notify all members prior to any service interruptions and estimated restoration times. We will make every effort to give you advance warning, but know that sometimes the need is immediate and extreme. We ask that you prepare for an interruption tonight.

 First and foremost: THANK YOU for your patience and willingness to conserve energy. Please continue to conserve energy by:

  • Using the sun to warm your rooms. If the sun is out, open blinds and curtains to warm your home.
  • Keeping cold air outside. If it is not sunny, close blinds and curtains.
  • Trying to limit cooking and laundry. If you must, only use large appliances during the day and avoid early morning and evenings.
  • Unplugging unnecessary electronics.
  • Dressing in layers and utilize electric blankets if you have them to stay warm.
  • Block leaks in windows and doors with towels.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Close doors.

If you do experience an outage, please:

  • Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
  •  Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.
  • Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins. Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
  • Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.
  • Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F during the day and to 55° F at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover windows at night.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

You can learn more at www.okcoop.org/winter-energy-emergency or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Thank you for your trust. Stay safe and warm.

 

February 15, 7:00 AM:

Energy Emergency Alert

  • Extreme cold weather has led to region wide electricity use that exceeds available generation across the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) service territory. The threat has been escalated to Energy Emergency Level 3. This means that we may face rolling black outs as a means to conserve power. But there are small things you can do to help.
  • Conserve energy by:
    • Using the sun to warm your rooms. If the sun is out, open blinds and curtains to warm your home.
    • Keeping cold air outside. If it is not sunny, close blinds and curtains.
    • Trying to limit cooking and laundry. If you must, only use large appliances during the day and avoid early morning and evenings.
    • Unplugging unnecessary electronics.
    • Dressing in layers and utilize electric blankets if you have them to stay warm.
  • Rest assured, OEC is here to help.  There will be no disconnects for non-payment from February 15th to February 19th for OEC or OEC Fiber and we will work with each member to create flexible payment arrangements if needed.
  • Many of our members pay a lower rate when your energy usage exceeds 1000 kWh. You can learn more and find the best rate for you here: https://okcoop.org/rates/

What can I do to help?

  • Conserve energy by:
    • Using the sun to warm your rooms. If the sun is out, open blinds and curtains to warm your home.
    • Keeping cold air outside. If it is not sunny, close blinds and curtains.
    • Trying to limit cooking and laundry. If you must, only use large appliances during the day and avoid early morning and evenings.
    • Unplugging unnecessary electronics.
    • Dressing in layers and utilize electric blankets if you have them to stay warm.

What does this mean for me?

  • There will be no disconnects this week for OEC or OEC Fiber and we will work with each member to create flexible payment arrangements if needed.
  • Rolling outages will be staggered so as not to overwhelm any individual members and are expected to last about 2 hours.

What is the Southwest Power Pool (SPP)?

  • The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States. OEC is assisting in preserving the integrity and reliability of the regional grid by temporarily suspending power in small increments.
  • The SPP encompasses all of Oklahoma and 13 other states. Below is an image of the (SPP) footprint

Why is this happening?

  • In Oklahoma, we are accustomed to extreme summer temperatures. To put this storm in context, keeping a house at 72 degrees when it is -5 degrees outside is equivalent to cooling a house to 72 degrees when it is 149 degrees outside.
  • The larger issue is that this storm is affecting the entire region, not just Oklahoma.
  • The extreme cold is affecting the physical operation of the power plants across the region, specifically the renewable power sources. Wind turbines are freezing .
  • Gas lines are freezing. Some distribution lines have cracked. Flow is slow. High demand is making it more difficult to obtain. The supply of gas is very tight due to equipment freeze-offs and has caused the price to skyrocket.
  • These types of emergency actions are designed to be executed very fast to prevent very large cascading blackouts. We may have very little warning to when, where, or how long they get implemented
  • The goal is to rotate through (i.e. rolling) so that no one area is overly impacted more than another area. The speed at which we roll through our system depends on how much of the SPP load (electricity) needs to be reduced.