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09/23/2005 ~ If Hurricane Rita strikes the coast of Texas, as it is predicted to, fuel supplies – including gasoline, diesel, and natural gas, could be cut for an extended period of time. The results would include a diminished fuel supply for the State of Florida and likely price spikes in the cost of fuel.

Keys Energy Services (KEYS) is asking all customers to implement energy conservation measures immediately as a result of the interruption in the fuel production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico and possibly in production in Texas.

If conservation measures are not successful, statewide black outs may be necessary.

At this point, the Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC) has issued an Advisory, which is designed to give early warning of potential electricity shortfalls. The FRCC could elevate the Advisory to an Alert if a disruption of the gas pipeline(s) serving the FRCC Region will adversely affect the generation capacity in the FRCC Region. Finally, an Emergency would be declared if blackouts are imminent. By the time rolling blackouts are used, utilities statewide would have exhausted every available means to balance supply and demand.

The purpose of the FRCC is to ensure and enhance the reliability and adequacy of the bulk electricity supply in Florida, now and into the future. FRCC members include investor-owned utilities, cooperative utilities, municipal utilities, power marketers, and independent power producers.

KEYS customers whose health is dependant on electrical equipment and/or who require proper refrigeration for medications should begin making plans in the event that rotating power outages are needed.


- Adjust thermostat settings for air conditioning to 78 degrees or more, if health permits; keep temperature readings constant until notified that the energy shortage has passed.

- Shut your air conditioner off when you are not home for an extended period.

- Close curtains and blinds to help insulate homes and buildings against cooling loss.

- Turn off water heaters at the circuit breaker.

- Reduce use of all non-essential electric appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes dryers, especially during the late afternoon or early evening – peak energy consumption time throughout the state.

- Turn off all non-essential lighting and electric appliances, such as pool pumps.

- Turn off lights when you leave a room or when they aren’t needed at home or at work.

- Keep cooking and bathing times to a minimum, especially during the late afternoon and early evening hours.

- Leave refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

- Cook outdoors, use a microwave oven, or prepare cold meals to avoid heating up the kitchen and adding moisture to the air. Microwaves use less than half the power of a conventional oven and cook the food in about one-fourth the time.

- For cooking, use small appliances like a toaster oven or electric skillet. On average, they use half the energy of a full-size oven.

*Megawatt – equivalent to one-million watts.

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