With record-low temperatures across the Midwest, Ameren Missouri and Co-Mo Electric Cooperative along with other energy companies are asking residents to chill just a bit on their electric consumption.

Electric companies have been notified by the regional electric grid operator, known as the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), that due to the extreme cold weather and high electrical demand, customers should conserve electrical power until further notice. Ameren Missouri says the conservation request will help keep the grid stable, and will also help customers save money. The company said on Tuesday that the grid was stable amid spiking demand, and they did not anticipate needing to use any rolling blackouts.

Immediate ways to conserve electricity:

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower.
  • Turn your thermostat down at night while sleeping.
  • Unplug or turn off nonessential appliances.
  • Avoid using large appliances such as ovens and dryers. 
  • On electric hot water heaters, reduce the temperature setting.

"Conserving energy will not only help others across the region, it will also help customers save money," said Mark Birk, senior vice president for customer and power operations for Ameren Missouri. "We appreciate our customers' support and understanding during these extremely cold temperatures."

While Ameren has said customers do not need to expect rolling blackouts, the same could not be said for some other utilities providers in Missouri, as some Kansas City and Springfield residents experienced short periods of power outages on Monday.

MISO comprises a pool of electricity generators and users that stretches from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. As reliability coordinator, MISO is responsible for monitoring the portion of the electric grid it oversees and providing instructions to its members regarding actions needed to maintain reliability in that portion of the grid.

Should customers experience an outage:

  • Call 911 and then notify Ameren at 800.552.7583 if damage to power lines or electrical equipment occurs near your home.
  • Block cold air from coming in by stuffing towels along windows or underneath doors.  
  • Prevent pipes from freezing by running faucets on a drip. 
  • Blow out lit candles before leaving the room or going to bed. On average, 21 home candle fires are reported each day.
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