KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 6, 2010 – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) is prepared for an approaching cold front that is expected to bring freezing temperatures to Osceola County on Tuesday morning.
A freeze warning has been issued by the National Weather Service in Melbourne for Osceola County, including the city of Kissimmee. The freeze warning will be in effect from 3-9 a.m. Tuesday. In addition, a freeze watch has been issued for the same area from Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.
The utility is monitoring weather forecasts and putting necessary resources in place to ensure speedy restoration if power outages occur.
“We expect to see high electricity use by our customers during the next 48 hours,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s vice president of corporate communications. “Our power plants are up and running and in great shape, and we have excess power in reserve if we need it.”
In anticipation of the winter weather, KUA offers these tips for warmth and energy conservation:
* Keep the thermostat on your heating system at the lowest comfortable setting. KUA recommends setting the temperature at 68 degrees during the day. Each degree you raise your thermostat will cost you approximately eight percent more.
* For heat pump users, set the thermostat to a constant setting and leave it there, and make sure drapes and furniture are not blocking air registers or returns.
* Exercise extreme caution when using space heaters. Don’t place them near curtains, furniture, newspapers or other combustible materials, or on rugs. Use portable electric heaters to heat only a small area and buy models that are thermostatically controlled. Some portable space heaters have been subject to product recalls. Check your brand and model number and visit www.cpsc.gov for possible information on your heater.
* Make sure any indoor heaters, like wood stoves or kerosene heaters, have adequate ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, make sure the flue of your fireplace is working properly and remains closed when the fireplace is not in use.
* Use ceiling fans to distribute heat around the room. Reverse the direction of the fan blades from that used for summer cooling.
* Use exhaust fans sparingly in winter. Heat and moisture from bathing and cooking contribute heat to your home. Don’t, however, use the oven to heat a room.
* Cover bare floors. Carpeting adds to comfort and heat retention, especially if there is little or no floor insulation.
* Wear layers of clothing rather than one heavy piece. Layers efficiently trap body heat and provide greater comfort. Additionally, the layers can be removed to maintain comfort as the body warms.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent