Electric use hits record level, public urged to conserve electricity
PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, is extending its appeal for the public to conserve electricity into Wednesday morning. The call for conservation is prompted by the continuing arctic weather across the region PJM serves which is driving electricity consumption to record levels.
On Tuesday morning, PJM set a new winter peak of 138,600 megawatts (one megawatt is enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.) That record was expected to be broken Tuesday night as the grid operator projected demand for electricity of about 140,000 megawatts. Demand was expected to remain high – but below record levels – Wednesday morning and generating plants in the region continue to be stressed by the frigid temperatures.
PJM asks consumers to conserve electricity, if health permits – especially from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday. Consumers can take simple electricity conservation steps:
- 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, and
- Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
Conserving electricity on Wednesday will help PJM ensure an adequate supply of electricity. PJM continues to carefully monitor the power supply conditions. If necessary, PJM will take additional steps, such as reducing voltage.
PJM is communicating about the situation with state government officials and regional reliability authorities throughout the region. PJM’s region includes all or parts of Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. PJM is coordinating efforts among generators, power suppliers and local utilities.