JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Florida Power & Light Company said today that it is preparing for record demand for electricity in its service territory as a result of record-low forecasted temperatures.
“Extremely cold weather is very unusual for Florida. Until warmer weather returns, we’re closely monitoring weather conditions. We understand how difficult it is for anyone to be without power in cold weather, and we are taking all appropriate actions to minimize any potential impact on our customers as a result of what are expected to be record-setting conditions,” said FPL President and CEO Armando J. Olivera.
FPL monitoring conditions closely to ensure it continues to have sufficient generation capacity
The company is closely monitoring weather conditions, power plant operations and fuel availability to ensure it continues to have sufficient power generation capacity to meet what is expected to be record-high electricity demand.
In order to meet anticipated demand, FPL is operating all available power plants at maximum output. Where it has the ability to do so, the company is switching power plants to oil-based fuels to reduce consumption of natural gas because Florida's two natural gas pipelines are operating at maximum capacity.
In addition, the company is activating its voluntary load management program with large commercial and industrial customers.
If conditions were to change and require additional measures to ensure sufficient power generation capacity, FPL could implement the voluntary residential and small business On Call® program under which heating systems, water heaters and pool pumps may be cycled on and off to reduce overall demand for electricity. By volunteering to allow FPL to turn off their appliances or equipment when a need exists, customers in the On Call® program receive credits on their electric bills.
If conditions were to worsen, FPL could call for voluntary conservation from all customers.
“These additional steps involving the On Call® program and voluntary conservation are not required at this time, but we are carefully monitoring conditions and will respond quickly if conditions dictate,” Olivera said. "In the meantime, FPL always encourages customers to use energy wisely to reduce their energy usage and keep bills as low as possible."
To lower energy usage and save money, heat your home at 68 degrees or cooler with the thermostat fan switch on "auto." Lower your thermostat to 65 degrees or cooler at bedtime or when you're away from home.
Additional crews on the job to deal with potential outages
While FPL does not expect widespread outages, the company has added crews to respond as quickly as possible to any localized outages that might occur. FPL has more than 1,200 restoration workers in place for the weekend.
During periods of unusually cold weather, high electrical demand from heating systems can overload power lines and transformers, causing a localized outage. The outage is the result of a safety mechanism – similar to the tripping of a circuit breaker in the home – that may trip fuses or transformers to prevent damage to the system.
These outages are largely driven by the use of portable heaters and strip heating systems, which require significantly more power than cooling. Also, gusty winds may blow vegetation and debris into power lines and cause localized outages.
FPL urges its customers to stay safe and be prepared
Safety is a cornerstone of FPL’s commitment to customers and employees. As the cold weather approaches, FPL reminds its customers to take safety precautions when using space heaters:
• Use space heaters for only limited amounts of time and not as a primary heat source.
• Direct the heater to warm people, not space.
• Keep flammable materials such as bedding, clothing, draperies, rugs and furniture at least three feet away from the heater.
• Keep children and pets away from the heater.
• Keep space heaters away from water to avoid electric shock.
• Turn off and unplug the heater when leaving the room for an extended period of time.
• Avoid using extension cords.
In addition, never use your range or oven to help heat your home, and never use a charcoal grill, barbecue or camp stove in your home or garage. If these are your only options, head to a local Red Cross shelter to stay warm.
FPL also recommends that customers check back-up facilities if someone in their home is dependent on electric-powered, life-sustaining medical equipment.
FPL is committed to keeping its customers informed. The company will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates through the media and FPL.com. Customers can report outages online at FPL.com/outage or by calling 1-800-4OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243).
Florida Power & Light Company
Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees. The company consistently outperforms national averages for service reliability while customer bills are well below the national average. A clean energy leader, FPL has one of the lowest emissions profiles and the No. 1 energy efficiency program among utilities nationwide. FPL is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Fla.-based FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL). For more information, visit www.FPL.com.