Lincoln Electric System officials are asking residents to take steps to conserve energy as temperatures are expected to remain below zero for the next few days.

LES said its customers are using more electricity and natural gas because of the cold, thus increasing the price of wholesale electricity and natural gas. Additionally, wind turbines in the region have not been producing as much energy in recent days.

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To help ease demand, LES is asking customers to reduce their energy usage. The company suggests lowering the thermostat to as low as is comfortable. LES also suggests opening curtains and shades during the day on sunny sides of homes to let sunlight in.

The increase in the price of natural gas forced the Nebraska Public Power District on Saturday to hold an emergency board meeting to authorize spending additional funds on natural gas to be used at the Beatrice Power Station.

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“LES appreciates everything our customers can do to cut back their use of electricity,” said Jason Fortik, LES vice president of Power Supply. “In the long run, every conservation effort by every customer reduces the cost to everyone.”