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Nebraska grid prepared for heat; here's how to lessen impact on your wallet, health

Nebraska grid prepared for heat; here's how to lessen impact on your wallet, health

The National Weather Service office in Omaha/Valley recently offered tips for handling the heat.

Although Texans are being asked to conserve electricity due to the heat wave’s stress on that state’s grid, Omaha’s utility operator isn’t anticipating a similar request of its customers.

Jodi Baker, spokeswoman for the Omaha Public Power District, said the utility has received inquiries about the robustness of the local grid now that Texas is calling for conservation. Over the winter, Nebraskans experienced rolling brownouts as extreme cold stressed the regional grid and caused major outages in Texas.

“At this time, our regional transmission organization, the Southwest Power Pool, has not issued a request for utilities in its footprint to conserve energy,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “OPPD has the generation resources to serve our customers’ needs, even on the hottest of days.”

Still, conserving electricity will save money, both OPPD and the Nebraska Public Power District noted in statements Tuesday.

Customers can trim their air conditioning costs by 5% to 10% for every 2 degrees that they raise the thermostat, according to NPPD. People also can use ceiling fans to make the body feel cooler than the room temperature.

And, as always, unplug appliances and chargers, turn off fans when you’re not in a room and limit your use of heat-generating appliances (such as the oven, stove or dishwasher) to the cooler hours of the day.

The Douglas County Health Department also advises that people take care of their health in the days ahead:

Never leave a person or animal in a closed car.

Hydrate regularly. Drink small amounts frequently rather than infrequent large amounts.

Seek out air conditioning.

Limit outdoor activity to the cooler periods of the day.

The average high this week is in the low 80s. Thursday’s forecasted high in the low 100s would break records for that date, according to the National Weather Service.


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Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Email: nancy.gaarder@owh.com

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