Heat Wave Spurs New All-Time Record for Power Demand by PPL Electric Utilities Customers
Delivery System Performing Well, Power Supplies Adequate
PPL Electric Utilities

A stubborn, stifling heat wave that has gripped much of the region for the past week spurred a new record for peak power demand early Friday afternoon (7/22) from PPL Electric Utilities customers.

Preliminary figures show the demand on the system for the hour ending at 2 p.m. Friday (7/22) was 7,622 megawatts. The new mark tops the company’s all-time high for summer peak demand of 7,554 megawatts, set on Aug. 1, 2006, as well as the all-time winter peak of 7,577 megawatts set on Feb. 5, 2007.

PPL Electric Utilities transmission and distribution systems continue to deliver power without any notable problems.

The PJM Interconnection, which coordinates and directs the operation of the region’s transmission grid, said power supplies will be adequate to meet demand. PJM set its own peak demand record Thursday, indicating the widespread nature of this prolonged heat wave. PJM Interconnection serves all or parts of 13 states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, as well as the District of Columbia.

“Our attention to maintenance and inspection, the increasing investments in our electric delivery system, and our system planning are really proving their mettle during this scorching week,” said Gregory N. Dudkin, senior vice president of operations for PPL Electric Utilities. “Investing in reliability means we’re prepared for the hottest days of summer and the frigid cold of winter. Our customers rightfully expect no less.”

The mark set Friday was just the sixth day this year that peak demand has exceeded 7,000 megawatts. Four of those six days occurred this week, with the others coming on June 6 (7,049 megawatts) and Jan. 24 (7,365 megawatts).

Over the past 10 years, PPL Electric Utilities’ average summer peak was 6,949 megawatts, so this peak is about 10 percent higher than the company's summer average.

PPL Electric Utilities is operating with a heightened state of readiness, much as it would prior to a major storm, closely monitoring system conditions and making sure personnel can respond quickly to any problems that could occur.

PPL Electric Utilities plans more than $450 million in capital investments this year, mainly to upgrade and expand the electric delivery system and address aging infrastructure.

Since we're only midway through summer, customers can use some of the following tips to save energy and help keep their homes comfortable:

  • Keep window shades and blinds drawn to keep out the sun’s heat.
  • Check the filter in your air-conditioning unit so it is clean for optimal air flow and efficiency. Also, keep air ducts around the house clean and uncovered.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to control temperature settings, raising the setting a degree or two when no one is at home or the outside temperature rises above 90. Adjusting your thermostat by even one degree saves on cooling costs.
  • Remember that window air conditioning units are designed to cool a single room. Keep doors closed and only use those units when the room is occupied.
  • Only use lights as needed, since most lights give off a great deal of heat.
  • Minimize use of heat-generating appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, stoves, washers and dryers during the warmest hours of the day. Use microwave ovens or outdoor grills to cook if possible. Hold off on using major appliances until the temperature cools down.

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.

For further information: Joe Nixon, 610-774-5997, jcnixonjr@pplweb.com
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