AUSenergy News Update 01/07/2014
Jan 7, 2014

In today’s AUSenergy News Update: The extreme artic cold blast prompted PJM to request users to conserve electricity on Tuesday, sub-zero temperatures forces PJM to reduce voltage and utilize spinning reserves to meet increased electricity demand, and the average US home electricity use is falling to levels not seen since 2001.

Extreme cold prompts PJM to request users to conserve electricity on Tuesday

Summary: PJM is asking those located within the grid’s territory to reduce their electricity consumption, wherever it is safe to do so, throughout the day Tuesday, but especially from between 3pm and 7pm due to the increase in electricity demand that has occurred due to the extreme cold impacting much of the area. Conserving energy will help PJM ensure that there is enough power in the region and no shutdowns occur.
AUS Comment: AUS urges everyone to follow PJM’s request and conserve electricity when possible. This can include turning off lights and electric appliances or devices that you don’t currently need; waiting to operate major appliance until later in the evening, and when possible setting your thermostat lower.

Arctic blast causes grid stress, forces PJM to reduce voltage and utilize spinning reserves

Summary: The extreme cold temperatures affecting much of the country, has set electricity demand records for winter within the PJM territory. PJM was forced to reduce voltage and utilize spinning reserves (demand response) to ensure electricity demand could be met on Monday, and may have to take similar action of Tuesday. PJM is also calling on all electric customers to conserve electricity whenever possible to help reduce demand. The cold weather has not only caused consumer demand to increase, but it has also caused many power plants to shut down, straining the grid even more.
AUS Comment: Winter is usually not a time of high electrical demand, but this is a reminder that the grid can become strained at any time. AUS urges everyone to minimize their electrical use in times like this in order to help ensure grid reliability, and cautions those committed to demand response to be ready to be called upon. AUS continually monitors grid reliability situations throughout the year and can help you stay aware of those impacting you.

US Home Electricity use falling to levels not seen since 2001

Summary: For the third year in a row, the electricity consumption of the average US home will decline, and is now at levels last seen in 2001. There are several reasons for this, but most prominent are improved weatherization for homes, as mandated by many states; greater efficiency in many major appliances, as required by the federal government; and people’s increased use of mobile technology, which consume less power than their plugged in counterparts.
AUS Comment: Through the use of benchmarking and increased understanding of energy efficiency, our customers have gained insight into their electricity consumption patterns and have been able to contribute to this decline in electricity consumption. With electricity prices all but sure to rise in the coming years, it will continue to make sense for all electricity users to find ways to reduce their usage any way they can.

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