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Regional Power Grid Operator Urges Consumers To Cut Back Electric Usage

(File photo by Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

(File photo by Ian Waldie/ Getty Images)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As another mass of frigid air settles in, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is urging consumers to take conservation measures to ensure an adequate power supply and to soften the blow to your bank account.

PUC spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher says folks can help by postponing the use of major appliances like clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m., sealing off unused rooms and lowering thermostats if possible. Conservation measures will not only help maintain the power grid but will also help soften the blow of heating bills that may soar after yet another bout of bone-chilling cold.

“The other thing that consumers can do is they can call their utility and sign up for budget billing which will spread that cost over the course of the year,” says Kocher.

Kocher also urges those struggling with bills to talk to their utility about low-income assistance programs. The PJM Interconnection that manages the power grid in the mid-Atlantic says demand for electricity is expected to peak on Tuesday evening.

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