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Governor urges statewide energy conservation

Governor Jon Huntsman called on public agencies and Utahns at locations across the state to conserve energy Tuesday as the western United States faces record temperatures and power demand.

Power generating facilities are on the brink of requiring a "red alert" day, pointed out the governor.

Southern Utah has been on yellow alerts the entire month of July.

The Wasatch Front has been on yellow alerts since mid-July.

Yellow alerts denote a need for moderate conservation.

"This is a time where energy consumption has grown significantly and is currently placing great strain on our limited capacity. We all need to do our part," commented Huntsman. "Our state is experiencing an unprecedented period of population growth and increased economic activity."

"Our power production capabilities are being stressed like never before. Every citizen needs to be thinking about ways to better conserve energy," stressed Huntsman.

In addition to the statewide Power Forward conservation program, the governor has directed all state agencies to implement several energy saving practices until Friday. In addition, Huntsman has encouraged residents in Carbon County and throughout Utah to conserve energy.

The energy saving practices include:

•Increasing thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

The increase is essential for high conservation.

•Turning off all unnecessary lights.

•Turning off all unnecessary electrical appliances, especially computers,

•Being especially aware of power use in peak times.

Peak times are between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

"It is important for us to realize the impact of all of the ways we use electricity. For example, leaving our computers on day and night is the same as leaving on lights in our houses," explained Laura Nelson, energy adviser to the governor.

"Increased awareness will help us to conserve energy for when we really need it most," added Nelson.

After Friday, Huntsman has asked state agencies and Utah residents to keep thermostats at 76 degrees for moderate conservation and continue other power-saving efforts.

If all Rocky Mountain Power customers with air conditioners increased the thermostat temperature by five degrees, the company indicated that the practice would decrease the electricity load demand by 200 megawatts.

Conserving 200 megawatts would provide enough energy to supply power to 200,000 homes, noted the company.

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