Kansas, Missouri officials urge energy conservation following round of rolling blackouts

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Power companies that oversee electricity use in the metro announced rolling, temporary blackouts Monday as a way to conserve energy during record cold temperatures.

Evergy, the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and Independence Power & Light all shut off sections of power on Monday afternoon.

Evergy stated that its blackouts began at 12:15 p.m., each one lasting 30-60 minutes. The company’s first round of rolling blackouts concluded later that afternoon with power now restored to 60,000 customers.

Evergy said more rolling blackouts may occur over the next few days if needed.

Independence P&L said its blackouts affected about 2,000 people at a time and lasted 20-30 minutes. FOX4’s Tia Johnson has been following developments with both, and said Independence’s initial round concluded by 2:45 p.m.

BPU said its blackouts lasted for about 40 minutes and about 1,600 customers were affected.

The companies are acting in accordance with a request from Southwest Power Pool Inc. The organization oversees power distribution across 14 states, including Kansas and Missouri.

Southwest Power Pool Map
Southwest Power Pool Map

By Monday afternoon, Southwest Power Pool said it restored enough power to its 14-state region and generated enough energy to meet demand.

Still, power companies warned customers that rolling blackouts could continue over the next two or three days, depending on how much power is used during that time.

All three companies are asking customers to continue to conserve energy to help reduce stress on the power grid, potentially reducing the ongoing need for emergency reductions.

“Our Evergy employees are working around the clock to manage our power plants and power lines. But even with reliable operations, the extreme cold is driving high demand for electricity and straining natural gas supplies, requiring all the utilities in the region to ask for customers’ help in conserving energy until the temperatures warm up later this week,” Kevin Bryant, Evergy’s Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement.

Conserve energy by:

  • Turn thermostats a little cooler (65-68 degrees). Avoid the use of electric space heaters. 
  • Close blinds and shades to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows. 
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
  • When possible, delay non-essential uses of energy washing drying clothes, washing dishes and bathing to non-peak hours, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.  
  • Use low-temperature cooking methods and avoid opening the oven door if it’s on.

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