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Frigid temps have utility providers asking customers to reduce energy use

Platte River Power Authority and Mountain Parks Electric are asking their customers to cut back Sunday.

COLORADO, USA — Area utility providers ask their customers to reduce their energy use as extreme winter weather impacts their energy supplies.

In a post on its website Sunday, Fort Collins-based Platte River Power Authority said "unprecedented" cold weather and snow are causing a natural gas shortage and impacting the availability of energy from Platte River's solar fields and wind turbines.

In Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland and Estes Park, customers are asked to reduce their electricity use between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., Platte River said.

“We are working closely with our utility partners to maintain service for our owner communities and surrounding areas, and we are asking all customers to reduce their demand for electricity. Platte River prepares for extreme events such as this and we’re confident we will continue to provide reliable power,” said Jason Frisbie, Platte River's general manager and CEO. 

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Platte River said customers are asked to reduce demand by turning down their thermostats and postponing the use of dishwashers, washing machines and electric dryers or other electrical devices until further notice.

Customers who need electricity to maintain their health or medical equipment may continue normal use, Platte River said.

Updates are available on Platte River's website

Meanwhile, Granby-based Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. (MPE) said on its website it has learned that regional wind turbines have iced up and are unable to generate electricity. 

MPE said that has created the potential for an interruption of electric service for the utility provider and its customers, depending on the duration and consumers' usage patterns.

Like Platte River, MPE is asking its customers to turn down their thermostats and cut back on the use of appliances.

The National Weather Service said temperatures in Fort Collins are expected to top out around 0 degrees Fahrenheit in Fort Collins Sunday afternoon, and drop to -15 Sunday night.

In Estes Park, a high of -1 is expected and a low around -6 by 8 p.m.

In Granby, temperatures are expected to reach a high around 13 and a low around -5.