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Regional Power Grid Operator Asks Users To Cut Back Electric Usage

By Mark Abrams

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. (CBS) -- The agency that manages the electric power grid across the Delaware Valley is making an urgent plea for conservation of electricity.

The Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland Interconnection (known as "PJM") is asking for cutbacks on your electricity usage between 3pm and 7pm today.

PJM reports that due to the cold snap, the regional electricity grid has already set usage power usage records, and should any of the power generators go out, we could have some real problems.

A spokesman says there is some consideration being given to voltage reductions across the region.  Most people wouldn't notice, he says, but big power users would.

At the home level, PJM is asking you to:

  • Turn off any electric lights and appliances that you don't need or are not using.
  • Set thermostats lower if you can.
  • Postpone using any major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers, and clothes dryers until after 9pm tonight, when electricity demand decreases.

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