The combination of the extreme weather conditions and record-breaking peak loads in the Tri-Cities has put a strain on the area’s electric grid. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) owns and operates a big portion of the Northwest’s power grid that transmits electricity to Benton PUD and other Tri-Cities utilities. In the event there is a failure of a major piece of equipment, BPA may require Benton PUD and other utilities to shift or shed load (localized blackouts) on its distribution system to prevent an overload condition on BPA’s transmission system that could result in a large-scale outage.
Benton PUD asks customers to help by turning up their thermostats and only using appliances and electronics when necessary. Using dishwashers, washing machine and other major appliances at non-peak times is also helpful. Peak times are considered hours between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. More energy savings tips can be found at bentonpud.org/EnergySavings.
Providing reliable electricity to customers is a team effort between Benton PUD, BPA and our customers. If shedding load is required by BPA, Benton PUD will focus on maintaining essential businesses and services. BPA’s notification to utilities to shed load can occur quickly, so it is unlikely that customers will be notified before an outage is implemented.
Benton PUD reminds customers to always be prepared for outages by having flashlights, batteries and other essential supplies on hand and to make sure they have fully charged their cell phone or mobile device. Customers can also login to SmartHub to enroll in email or text notifications to receive notices when there is an outage at their home or business and when power has been restored.
Please follow our Facebook and Twitter pages @BentonPUD and our website bentonpud.org for more information.
Email your press release and a photo to Austin Regimbal, Marketing & Communications Director. Press releases are posted in their entirety. This is a free benefit for members of the Tri-City Regional Chamber.