The extreme cold has significantly increased the demand for electricity, leading the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to call on consumers to conserve electricity.
“Conserving electricity will help ensure power supplies can continue to meet the historic demand we are experiencing as heating systems work overtime to keep up with the frigid temperatures,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “Large electricity users have already been called upon to restrict usage. Residential consumers can do their part by postponing using appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers until the demand for electricity decreases.”
PJM Interconnection is the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states (including Pennsylvania) and the District of Columbia. PJM reached an all-time winter peak at 8 a.m. today. The next peak usage period is expected to be from 3 to 7 p.m. tonight. PJM has requested consumers throughout its region to conserve electricity today.
“We echo PJM’s call for all consumers to join in conserving electricity today, especially during peak times,” Chairman Powelson said.
Simple conservation tips for residential consumers include:
Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits.
Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases.
Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. This includes overhead doors on attached garages.
Seal off unused rooms. Close the floor or wall registers and return air vents, and keep the doors closed in those areas.
Open south-facing window curtains, drapes and blinds during the day. Close coverings at night to keep the heat in.
Additional energy conservation tips are available on the PUC website.
Consumers should contact their electric utility if they experience an outage. In Crawford County, customers of Penelec/Penn Power should call, toll-free, (888) 544-4877) and customers of Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative should call, toll-free, (800) 474-1710.