MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With temperatures averaging 11 degrees Tuesday morning, Tennessee Valley Authority had to dole out more megawatts of power than it has on any day since 2015.
TVA issued a Power Supply Alert for 6-9 a.m. (peak energy usage time). The alert asked people to lower their thermostats a degree or two and take other precautions in order to conserve power.
It might sound counter-intuitive to turn your thermostat down when it's freezing cold outside, but it can help alleviate the strain on the electric systems.
Tuesday morning, TVA had to distribute nearly 32,000 megawatts of power to its more than 9 million customers. That's the highest energy output TVA has recorded since 2015.
High energy outputs--especially during extreme temperatures--place more strain on the mechanical systems creating the power. If that strain is too much, systems could fail, causing local or widespread overloads that may force neighborhood or rolling blackouts.
Turning down your thermostat is the easiest way to help conserve power. Doing so also has another added benefit: it can save you money.
For every degree less than 68 degrees you keep your thermostat on in the winter, MLGW says you'll save about 4 percent on your energy bill.
MLGW suggests turning your thermostat down at night (and covering up with an extra blanket) and lowering your thermostat when you're not at home.
"Layering their clothes, layering their covers on their bed, making sure air is not coming into their house through the windows and doors," MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson said about ways to keep warm at home without cranking up the heat.
Binghampton resident Jarvis Robinson said the colder it gets outside, the harder it is to avoid turning up the thermostat.
"How can you conserve it when you need the heat? Like if it's below 18 degrees--12 degrees outside--ain't no way you can do it," Robinson said.
Still, it's important to do everything you can to save power, so we can all avoid overtaxing the power grid.
TVA said showering at night is a simple way to help avoid adding extra demand to the power grid during those peak morning hours.
Meanwhile, MLGW created a list of steps you can take to conserve energy and make sure your house is as energy efficient as possible. Click here for that list.