03/05/2014 09:46 EST | Updated 05/05/2014 05:59 EDT

Newfoundland and Labrador coping with heavy power demand as temperatures plunge

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - One of Newfoundland and Labrador's main electric utilities is thanking its customers for conserving power this morning as the province copes with another cold snap.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro says its grid and generators were kept online as peak demand reached 1,482 megawatts this morning at 7:14 a.m. before demand started to drop.

The system has 1,575 megawatts of power available.

The utility issued the call to conserve because it is concerned the system could crash if demand exceeds generating capacity.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has asked residential consumers to conserve hot water, turn down thermostats and not use clothes dryers in the mornings and evenings.

An unusual cold snap in early January along with high winds and equipment malfunctions led to outages across the island of Newfoundland.

Temperatures around the province have been dropping to below -20 C for the past few days, and the cold is expected to persist into Thursday.