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Dominion urges customers to reduce usage to 'protect' the electric system

Posted at 9:25 AM, Dec 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-25 23:11:43-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Dominion Energy urged customers to reduce power usage this weekend as a large portion of the country deals with sub-freezing temperatures.

"Dominion Energy and other utility companies are experiencing high demand on the electric system that will continue for the next few days," the utility company that provides power to portions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, and several other states wrote in an email to customers. "Customers are asked to reduce their energy usage over these next few days to help protect the stability of the electric system."

Dominion offered the following tips:

  • Set thermostats to 68 degrees or lower.
  • Turn off non-essential internal and external lights.
  • Unplug non-essential appliances and devices.
  • Limit the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers.
  • Ensure HVAC vents are open and unobstructed.

Temperatures in Richmond were expected to be between 16 and 35 degrees Sunday with warmer temperatures (in the 30s and 40s) later in the week.

A Christmas-week winter storm knocked out power in communities from Maine to Seattle, and a major electricity grid operator warned 65 million people across the eastern U.S. of possible rolling blackouts.

But heat and lights were steadily being restored across the U.S. According to poweroutage.us, less than 300,000 customers were without power at 8 a.m. EDT Sunday - down from a peak of 1.7 million. In North Carolina, less than 6,600 customers had no power - down from a peak of 485,000 or more. Utility officials said rolling blackouts would continue for the next few days.

Across the six New England states, about 121,300 customers remained without power on Sunday, with Maine still the hardest hit. Some utilities said electricity may not be restored for days.

Around 900 Dominion customers remained without power in Central Virginia on Christmas morning. The majority of those outages were reported in and around the town of Ashland in Hanover County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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