Southcentral Alaska residents have an excuse to put off doing the laundry and dishes Tuesday as electric companies ask customers to participate in their annual Energy Watch Campaign, designed to inform the public about how to respond to a potential energy crisis.
The campaign asks customers to run on a "yellow" level of power consumption -- defined as turning thermostats to 65 degrees in living areas and 40 degrees in garages, lowering water-heater settings to "warm" or "vacation," and turning off unnecessary lights and electronics -- from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. During that time, customers are asked to postpone doing laundry or dishes.
“This is different than conservation, and frankly customers are practicing ongoing conservation -- we've seen a decline in electric loads in the last 10 years because of that,” said Phil Steyer with Chugach Electric. “These are different measures: these are things you would do if asked to cut back the demand on the gas system.”
Last year, Chugach says about 50 percent of customers participated in the event. Company officials hope even more will do so Tuesday.
Contact Mallory Peebles