Louisiana is experiencing a sharp increase power usage thanks to a rare winter storm that blanketed the state in ice and snow.

With temperatures expected to dip even lower overnight, regional electric grid regulators have sounded the alarm to utilities companies. Electricity demand is surging higher than the grids can handle.

The Lafayette Utilities System has asked customers to conserve power. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower
  • Unplug or turn off non-essential appliances or electronics
  • Avoid using large appliances

Rolling blackouts left millions of customers in Texas without power on Monday as electricity companies struggled to deal with the surge in demand caused by the winter storm.

There is a possibility that customers in Louisiana will face similar outages as temperatures continue to drop. 

Controlled rolling blackouts, or rotating outages, are temporary power outages implemented deliberately by regional electricity system operators.

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When temperatures drop, more power is needed to keep homes and businesses heated, so electricity demand often surges higher than the regional electrical grid can handle.

Additionally, as power companies have been explaining this week, utilities operating in the South have set up their grids more to deal with extreme heat and thus are vulnerable to issues caused by rare bouts of extreme cold.

Staff Writer Anthony McAuley contributed to this report.

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Email Megan Wyatt at mwyatt@theadvocate.com.