AEP to customers: Conserve while it’s frigid

AEP Ohio is urging customers to conserve energy this week as the temperatures remain low, particularly today when the local forecast calls for a high of 12 degrees and much of the nation will be in arctic temperatures.

Prompted by the extreme cold forecast, PJM Interconnection, the electricity grid operator for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia, requested Monday that customers of all of its member utilities, including AEP Ohio, conserve electricity today.

The wave of frigid weather is expected to push up demand for electricity to potentially record-breaking levels, straining the capacity of the nation’s power grid, according to a release from AEP Ohio. Using energy efficiently will help ensure that adequate supplies of electricity are available to all.

The demand for electricity and the need for conservation are expected to be highest today. AEP Ohio asks consumers to conserve electricity, if health permits – especially from 6 to 10 a.m. as well as between 5 to 9 p.m.

Three simple ways to conserve electricity:

Set thermostats as low as appropriate to maintain health and comfort.

Postpone using major electric appliances, such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when demand for electricity decreases.

Turn off electric lights and appliances you do not need or are not using.

Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible, including overhead doors on attached garages.

Seal off unheated, unused rooms.

Open curtains on the sunny side of the house to warm up your home. No sun? Close the shades to keep warm air in.

Unless it is equipped specifically for home heating, use fireplaces sparingly. Warm air escapes through the chimney so close the damper when not in use.

Cover hot water pipes with an insulating jacket and set the water heater to between 120 and 130 degrees.