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Regional Power Grid Operator Reports Winter Record For Electric Usage

(File photo by Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

(File photo by Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The agency that manages the electric power grid across the Delaware Valley has extended their call for conservation of electricity (See Previous Story).

The Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland Interconnection (known as “PJM”)  runs the power grid in 13 states and Washington D.C.

“We’re continuing to ask consumers to use electricity wisely to conserve, especially through the morning hours,” says spokesman Ray Dotter.

That means not using major appliances like stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers. Making sure lights you don’t need are off, maybe bringing the thermostat down a little bit, especially from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Wednesday. But, Dotter says they want to stress this to people.

“When we ask consumers to cut back, it’s always in consideration of health and safety. No one should risk their health or their safety to conserve or to save,” says Dotter.

They’re doing this because PJM is reporting a winter record for usage. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, the demand was 141,500 megawatts, breaking the record of 136,700 set in 2007. The difference, Dotter explains, is enough to power a medium sized city.

Even with all that, PECO says their system has held up during the extreme cold.