Energy Efficiency, Executive Insight

Another round of freezing weather has PJM calling for conservation

Freezing weather and stress on power plants caused PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, to ask the public in the BGE and Pepco regions to conserve electricity from January 23 to January 24.

The call for conservation was prompted by continuing frigid weather increasing the demand for electricity and placing stress on generating resources.

PJM asks consumers to conserve electricity, if health permits — especially from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. January 23 and 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. January 24. Conserving electricity will help ensure adequate power supplies.

The prolonged, extremely cold weather is causing high demand for electricity. As a result, PJM and its members are managing a tight power supply. The prolonged cold requires some generating units to operate more often and for more hours than normal. It also stresses generator components. Any resulting unplanned shutdowns can further tighten power supplies.

Utility customers who are demand response providers have also been asked to reduce their electricity use. These customers agreed in advance to eliminate or reduce their use of electricity when called upon and are paid for cutting back their electricity use.