Record demand for heat putting strain on power grid

Record demand for heat putting strain on power grid

Credit: AP

Record demand for heat putting strain on power grid

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Associated Press & 13News Now

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 7 at 4:44 PM

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (AP) -- Virginians are among residents in 13 states being asked to conserve energy today.

The cold weather has caused a spike in demand cross central and eastern states.

Officials with PJM Interconnection say there was record winter demand Tuesday morning and another record may be set this afternoon.

PJM is a regional organization based in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It manages the wholesale power supply for all or part of 13 states. Dominion Power is mirroring PJM's request to conserve energy between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., even though it expects to be able to meed demand.

PJM also asking all power generators to be ready to supply emergency levels of electricity.

PJM serves Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The following tips from Dominion Power can help lower energy usage and electric bills while keeping homes comfortable:
 
Set the heating system thermostat to the lowest temperature that leaves you comfortable.  Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy generally recommend 68 degrees. If you have a heat pump, it is important that you leave it on a constant setting for maximum energy savings.
 
Keep the water heater set at 120 degrees. If your water heater is located in an unheated space, install an insulation wrap on the heater and adjacent pipes to prevent heat loss.
 
Seal any areas where you feel cold air coming into the house, such as underneath and around exterior doors, windows and electric outlets.
 
Close the flue to any fireplace that is not in use.
 
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.

AP-WF-01-07-14 1623GMT

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