UPDATE: At 10 a.m. Sunday, AEP Ohio announced the request to reduce power has expired.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — With frigid temperatures sticking around across the Midwest over Christmas weekend, millions of people are being asked to reduce power use, including in Ohio.

Saturday morning, AEP Ohio in coordination with PJM, the company responsible for routing electricity transmissions across 13 states, made an emergency request for customers on its power grid to reduce electricity usage until 10 a.m. on Christmas Day.

The order comes while much of Ohio remains in some form of a winter weather advisory or warning.

The recommendations to lower your electricity made by AEP Ohio include:

  • Setting your thermostat lower than usual, if health allows
  • Postponing use of major electric appliances like stoves, dishwashers, and dryers.
  • Turning off non-essential electric lights, equipment, and appliances

Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio’s President said triggered rolling blackouts will only be for minutes not hours. “We’re in that period now where it is supply and demand. So as long as there is enough generation capacity to meet demand then we should be ok but we are in that stretch period where we are at the peak demand so that’s why conservation is incredibly important and hopefully the generation is there to meet it,” Reitter said.

How it will work is they will rotate through each sector or city and shut off their power for a few minutes. Then they will move to the next one until they loop back around to the first sector. This process will continue until they have generated enough power to meet the demand.

Again, AEP said they will do their best to alert customers before it happens should it occur. “I think it is very important to recognize that it is different from June. It’s not like everybody is off. You don’t know when you are coming back on; these are going to be intermittent. Minutes you’re off and I like said it is going to seem more annoying than challenging,” Reitter said.

AEP said at this point they are just trying to prepare and over communicate should this happen.

They say the best ways to conserve energy are by not using appliances like the washer and dryer and unfortunately be a little grinchy by shutting off your Christmas lights if you can.