PPL Electric Utilities Reduces Voltage Due to Near-Record Electricity Use

To meet near-record levels of customer demand for electricity, PPL Electric Utilities and other utilities in the mid-Atlantic region reduced voltage on their electric delivery system by 5 percent Thursday afternoon (8/9) to protect power reserves.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19981015/PHTH025 )

A voltage reduction, which is like turning a spigot to reduce the pressure of water coming out of a faucet, has no lasting effects on the operation of appliances and does not damage them. It merely reduces the amount of energy they consume.

The voltage reduction was ordered by the regional PJM Interconnection. PJM is an independent organization that coordinates electric delivery for 22 million people in five mid-Atlantic states. PJM coordinates more than 58,000 megawatts of generating capacity and operates a wholesale electricity market with more than 200 buyers, sellers and traders of electricity.

Utilities in neighboring regions of the Northeast and Midwest also implemented voltage reductions this afternoon to protect power reserves because of high electricity use.

For the fourth consecutive day, electricity use by PPL Electric Utilities customers is at or near record levels for the summer.

In addition, at the request of PJM, PPL Electric Utilities asked a group of industrial customers with special contracts to reduce their electricity use Thursday afternoon.

Those customers are able to buy electricity at a lower price than standard industrial rates in exchange for agreeing to cut back on their usage temporarily when needed to help preserve reliability. Without the reduction in electricity use resulting from the voltage reduction, PPL Electric Utilities would have broken Tuesday's (8/7) summer electricity use record of 6,661 megawatt-hours.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, electricity use by PPL Electric Utilities customers was about 6,400 megawatt-hours.

Customers can help maintain reliability by using energy wisely. Simple things that residential customers can do, if health permits, include:

   -- Setting air conditioner thermostats at 78 degrees.
   -- Using major electric appliances, such as washing machines, clothes
       dryers, dishwashers and electric ranges in the early morning or
       evening, when demand for electricity is lower.
   -- Closing shades, drapes or blinds to keep the sun out during the day.

PPL Electric Utilities is a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL). Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation generates electricity at power plants in Pennsylvania, Maine and Montana; markets wholesale or retail energy in 42 U.S. states and Canada; and delivers electricity to nearly 6 million customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.


NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19981015/PHTH025

PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 212-782-2840

SOURCE: PPL Corporation

Contact: George Lewis of PPL, +1-610-774-5997, or fax: +1-610-774-5281

Website: http://www.pplweb.com/

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