Cold Spell

It was 11 degrees F this morning when I drove my daughter to school. We didn’t make her walk to school. Her generation is so coddled. When I was her age …

But it is quite cold here. Our upstairs HVAC that is in the uninsulated attic stopped working this morning because the drain line froze. The good news is the work is still under warranty and we aren’t heating the attic.

I got the following email yesterday.

Good Afternoon,

Please pass along the following important energy conservation message to all building occupants.

Anticipated cold temperatures on Thursday and Friday will challenge power delivery systems for Duke Energy, the main provider of campus electricity. To help maintain power supply in our region, please limit non-essential campus energy use on Jan. 8 and 9:

  • Turn off and unplug office equipment and appliances that are not vital or not in use
  • Ensure all exterior windows and doors are closed
  • Turn off lights in rooms that are not in use
  • Shut off all space heaters
  • Close lab fume hood sashes that are not in use

These actions will save energy on campus and help maintain reliable power supply during extreme conditions. For more ways to save energy, visit

It is somewhat disturbing that our electric grid is this fragile.