Excessive heat continues throughout region

Aug. 24, 2023 – The National Weather Service’s excessive heat watch continues into today and could expand to tomorrow night as temperatures continue to be in the triple digits.

Heat indices could reach as high as 115 degrees today and temperatures are predicted to hit 100 degrees or more again. Although temperatures on Friday are expected to be low to mid-90s, heat indices could be at 100 degrees or more again tomorrow.

OPPD’s regional transmission organization, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) issued a Conservative Operations Advisory on Monday and has extended it until Friday evening.

A Conservative Operations Advisory is issued whenever SPP determines there is a need to operate its system conservatively based on weather or other factors. The advisory does not call for the public to conserve energy.

However, during extreme weather situations like this extended heat wave or arctic conditions in the winter, conserving energy can help ensure reliable power and help you save on your power bill.

The following steps can help you keep your utility bills low and support power reliability:

  • If using an air conditioner, adjust the thermostat up a few degrees.
  • Use dampers on ductwork to balance airflow in your home if one room is colder or warmer than another. If dampers are not available, close registers in unused rooms.
  • Seal external doors and windows with weather stripping – and close shades during the day.
  • Avoid washing and drying clothing or running dishwashers in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Avoid “phantom” power loss:
    • Switch desktop computers and monitors to sleep mode when not in use, or just shut them off entirely.
    • Unplug electronics like televisions or cable boxes, if possible, when not in use.
    • Use a central power strip that allows you to easily turn off multiple devices at once.

For seasonal energy efficiency tips, please visit OPPD.com/ee.

We know that electricity is critical on days like these. That’s why OPPD holds over an additional team called a “heat crew,” when the heat index rises to 95° or above. This team acts as support beyond normal working hours, into the evening as needed. They support the crew that’s already assigned to this shift. We also ensure we have support staff working in our storeroom, to provide equipment that may be needed to complete repairs.

The heat causes extra wear and tear on OPPD’s infrastructure. That’s why we take added steps to help ensure reliable service when customers need it most.  We conduct regular maintenance to help prevent equipment failure. And during hot weather like this week’s, our crews postpone jobs that involve shifting electric loads to avoid overworking the system more than necessary.

You can read more about the impacts of heat on our electric system, and how we address them, here on OPPD’s The Wire.

About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.