Jul 8, 2010
For the fourth day this week, demand for electricity rose even closer to record-setting levels for PPL Electric Utilities as the region remained in the grip of oppressive heat and humidity.
Demand for electricity across the PPL utility service area peaked at 2 this afternoon (7/8) at 7,362 megawatts. As the heat wave persists, the demand has increased each day this week. The company's all-time high for summer peak demand was 7,554 megawatts set Aug. 1, 2006, and the winter peak, on Feb. 5, 2007, reached 7,557 megawatts.
On Wednesday, PPL Electric Utilities reported its customers used more than 145.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, continuing the upward trend over the past week. Four years ago, the record total consumption for a summer day was almost 154 million kilowatt-hours, on Aug. 2, 2006.
The PJM Interconnection, the Mid-Atlantic power grid operator, reported sufficient power supply to meet demand.
Gregory N. Dudkin, senior vice president-Operations for PPL Electric Utilities, praised the company's operating personnel for ensuring strong electric reliability for its 1.4 million customers across 29 counties in Pennsylvania.
"Our electric delivery systems have performed remarkably well this week under heavy load, and that reflects our wide-ranging summer readiness activities, our daily system maintenance and the significant infrastructure investments we've made in recent years," Dudkin said.
System operators and dispatchers closely monitor system conditions and keep the delivery system in balance, so cooling appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are able to work well, he said. The company has increased after-hours staffing Thursday evening to be able to promptly respond to any local trouble and added staff to its customer call center.
"While we always encourage consumers to use energy wisely, especially during such peak periods, our job is to keep power flowing to our customers when they need it most," Dudkin said. "The company's investments in bolstering system reliability over the past several years are proving their mettle. And we're planning more improvements and upgrades in the coming years to ensure strong reliability."
With its advanced meters, PPL Electric Utilities said its customers can track their own electric usage on an hourly, daily and monthly basis by registering their account at "My PPL" on www.pplelectric.com. The company's online Energy Analyzer also can provide customized energy-saving tips.
During extreme heat, consumers can take simple steps to reduce their electricity use -- raise air-conditioner thermostats to at least 75 degrees, pull window shades and blinds closed to block the sun, and limit use of lights, kitchen and laundry appliances that generate more heat and humidity inside the home. Using ceiling, attic and portable fans also help central air conditioners work more efficiently and save energy costs.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery service to 1.4 million customers in 29 counties of eastern and central Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.
First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: PPL Electric Utilities
CONTACT: Michael Wood, PPL Electric Utilities, +1-610-774-5997
Web Site: http://www.pplelectric.com/