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South Dakotans asked to conserve during energy emergency due to extreme temperatures

Date: Feb 15, 2021

TYPE: News

Sioux Falls, SD – Feb. 15, 2021 – South Dakotans are asked to reduce electric and natural gas use for the next 48 hours to mitigate the risk of more widespread and longer-lasting outages during the extreme cold that is gripping the region.

Energy reserves are constrained and there is the risk that there will not be enough supply to meet demand. NorthWestern Energy is a member of the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which operates in the energy grid in South Dakota. SPP has directed members, including NorthWestern Energy, to ask its customers to reduce their energy usage to help prevent the need to mandate rolling blackouts, such as are already occurring in places like Texas.

“The extended and deep cold wave blanketing the midsection of the country is stressing the electric grid in historic proportions,” Chris Nelson, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chairman. “This is the type of moment where all South Dakotans need to pitch in to reduce electricity consumption to help keep the grid reliable for all of us. Thank you!”

South Dakota residential customers can help by: turning down thermostats to 68-degrees or lower; turning off and unplugging non-essential lights and appliances; avoiding using large appliances such as ovens, dishwashers and washing machines; and delaying taking showers or baths until peak demand for energy drops.

South Dakota commercial customers can help by: minimizing the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible. Some businesses may be able to reduce their demand for energy by delaying when they open or when they ramp up a shift.

SPP is coordinating closely with NorthWestern Energy and other members to respond to high demand for electricity, inadequate supply of natural gas, and wind-forecast uncertainty.

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About NorthWestern Energy (Nasdaq: NWE)
NorthWestern provides electricity and / or natural gas to approximately 743,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska. We have generated and distributed electricity in South Dakota and distributed natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and have generated and distributed electricity and distributed natural gas in Montana since 2002. More information on NorthWestern is available on the company’s website at

Media Contacts:
Jo Dee Black