City advises conserving electric during excessive heat

            St. James is experiencing high temperatures and the St. James Municipal Utilities is advising residents to conserve electricity whenever possible, especially during peak hours. High electric usage can cause strains on the power market, leading to higher prices.

            “MPUA (Missouri Public Utility Alliance) or the people we buy our electric from, have asked the citizens and industries to not use their electric between 3 and 6 p.m. That is the peak periods,” City Administrator Jim Fleming explained. “We pay, the St. James Utilities, we pay a time-of-day rate. It gets more expensive (based on the time),” he explained.
            Between 3 and 6 p.m. is the highest cost of usage throughout an entire day and with hot weather being experienced, it takes more electricity to cool homes and businesses, which causes higher costs of electric delivery.
            “Plus, that is the peak demand load in this huge area,” Fleming said. The wave, he said, is coming up from Texas and will hit the Midwest hard over the next week.
            “While they do not anticipate rolling black outs, we will have our power, we will have our power. Whatever we can do to lessen that load would impact electric bills and will just make it that much better for all the utilities,” Fleming said.
            The Municipal Utility Department shared on its Facebook page this summer heat will not be as extreme as during the Winter Storm Uri, but advised customers to conserve wherever possible.
            “The most important thing is that customers control their energy costs by conserving,” the department said in a social media post. “It also helps the community by keeping electric prices in check. As of Monday morning, electric supplies should be able to meet demand, but things could change quickly.”
            Customers are encouraged to turn their air up a few degrees during peak hours to conserve while still maintaining a decent temperature in their home or business during the extreme heat.
            For those needing shelter during excessive heat, the James Memorial Public Library serves as a shelter for the community.