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 Southcentral residents asked to scale back energy use for two hours 

10/18/2011 | Contact: Sarah Erkmann 343-7103
Mayor's Office

ANCHORAGE-KENAI-MAT-SU- Southcentral Alaska residents are being asked to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption for two hours on the evening of Wed., Oct. 19.

The test is being coordinated by the Municipality of Anchorage, with cooperation from Chugach Electric Association, Municipal Light & Power, Matanuska Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, ENSTAR, and the Matanuska-Susitna and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs. The entities have worked together this fall on Energy Watch, a campaign designed to call attention to the possibility of a natural gas delivery problem.

Residents of the Mat-Su Borough, the Municipality of Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula Borough are being asked to participate in the voluntary test.

Between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Oct. 19, residents are being asked to reduce their energy consumption to the yellow level of the Energy Watch chart (attached). The steps include lowering the thermostat to 65 degrees; shutting off unnecessary lights and electronics; setting the water heater to “warm” or “vacation”; postponing washing dishes and doing laundry; and reducing natural gas range use. 

Commercial customers have been encouraged to develop their own two-step plans to mirror the suggestions at the “yellow” and “red” stages of the Energy Watch chart.   The two-hour exercise window provides an opportunity for them to implement the first stage of their individual reductions.

The goal of the conservation test is to see what kind of effect voluntary actions might have on overall energy consumption. In the event of a real energy deliverability problem, one of the first steps will be to ask residents to take voluntary steps similar to ones being proposed for the Oct. 19 test.

The utilities and agencies involved in the Energy Watch campaign have continually stressed that a natural gas delivery problem this winter is not likely.  However, in case it does happen, it is prudent to have a plan in place.

Note to media: Results of the test will be available on Mon., Oct. 24, via press release after the utilities have conducted data analysis. In addition, results from a scientific poll asking residents in Anchorage, Mat-Su and the Kenai Peninsula about their awareness of and participation in the test will be available.

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