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Jun 20, 2010 8:10 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Energy Overload May Lead to Blackouts

The summer often brings high energy bills, but this year energy companies are worried that some may be left without cool air.

Mary Laurent, Communications Manager at Slemco, said the high temperatures aren’t the only thing to blame "we've also had higher than normal growth in our area, so the grid is under some constraints."

Laurent says blackouts in Acadiana are a possibility, but Slemco, LUS, Cleco and Entergy have all joined forces to do their best to make sure it doesn't come to that.

"When we as a group come to the consumer and say we need you to cut back, we really need you to cut back,” she explained. “We aren't crying wolf and we are not doing it lightly. We only ask for people's help if we absolutely need it."

An easy way to conserve energy is to leave your thermostat at 78 degrees. Also, avoid doing laundry during the afternoon hours when energy consumption is the highest.

Lafayette resident, Gary Maurin, said "78 to 80 is pretty cool, when you compare it to running in 95."

Maurin says he always tries to conserve energy and he hopes others will do the same.

He said, “we have limited amount of resources, particularly stuff in the gulf, I mean we are realizing now that we just need to conserve and be a good steward to the earth."

A 200 million dollar project to improve the grid is in the works right now, but it won't be completed until 2012.

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