BATON ROUGE, La. – It wouldn’t be January without an Arctic blast sweeping across the country. The cold front is expected to drop temperatures into the teens by midweek and bring a chance of frozen precipitation in some areas of the state, so Entergy’s Louisiana utilities are prepared to respond to any power outages that could be caused by the winter weather system.
“Forecasters are predicting that extreme cold will affect 70 percent of the United States starting this week,” said Sheila Pounders, director of customer service. “In fact, weather experts say that some 50 million people across the country will see some of the coldest weather they’ve experienced in quite some time. But even though we’ll be spared the worst compared to northern states, we will still be affected by freezing temperatures and winds gusting up to 25 miles per hour. Should we experience outages, our crews are ready to safely restore power as quickly as possible.”
Customers are encouraged to download Entergy’s free mobile app to access outage maps, sign up for text alerts, report outages and view information. In addition, storm-preparedness and safety tips are available to customers through the Entergy Storm Center.
Make Safety the First Priority
“As with any storm, safety is always our first priority and we want it to be yours too,” said Pounders. “We urge everyone to monitor the weather and prepare to implement their own winter storm plans if needed.”
Here are some convenient tips. For more, visit the Entergy Storm Center.
· Do not walk in standing water or venture into areas of debris since power lines that could still be energized and dangerous may not be visible. Use Entergy’s free mobile app or call 1-800-9OUTAGE (1-800-968-8243) to report downed or dangling power lines, poles or other damaged equipment.
· Keep away from fences and other objects that can become energized if they come in contact with downed power lines.
· Make sure to review gas safety tips and, if needed, have a licensed professional thoroughly check your heating system.
· Maintain your outdoor pipes and have a licensed professional examine and clean your home’s chimney.
· Don’t use candles or other flammable devices to warm your home.
· Check on seniors, who can be particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures.
Stay Comfy, Save Money
Besides urging customers to keep safety at the forefront, Entergy’s Louisiana companies also offer tips to help customers battle winter’s chill, while still keeping a lid on energy bills:
· Adjust the thermostat. During winter months, grab a sweater or a blanket to stay toasty, and set the thermostat to 68 degrees. Every degree higher can add 3 percent to your bill.
· Conserve hot water. Wrap your electric water heater with a water heater blanket and set the thermostat to 120 degrees or medium.
· Replace air and furnace filters every 30 days or as required by the type of filter.
· When you change your light bulbs, replace them with energy-efficient models. Entergy recommends Energy Star-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs that use 70 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
· Seal air leaks. Install weather stripping around doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside of your home.
More tips, as well as clear, do-it-yourself videos, to help put these ideas to work can be found at entergy.com/savemoney. Customers of Entergy’s Louisiana utilities can visit EntergySolutionsLA.com.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C. provide electric service to more than one million Louisiana customers. Additionally, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana provides natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 14,000 employees.