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An Emergency Electric Power Message From Pepco

Story Filed: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 11:05 AM EST

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2000 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The following was issued today by Pepco:

Pepco strongly urges customers to substantially reduce their use of electricity for today:

* Be as conservation-minded as you can be, turning off all unnecessary appliances and resetting your thermostats higher than normal.

* Check backup facilities for electrically-powered medical equipment and battery-operated radios and flashlights, should they be needed.

The PJM Power Pool companies and Pepco make this urgent request due to the region's unseasonably early hot spell and to ensure a reliable supply of power for all customers. A number of generating units in the Power Pool are undergoing scheduled maintenance as is normal at this time and prior to the summer air conditioning season. They are scheduled to be in service later this month.

There are energy shortages throughout the east coast. The PJM Power Pool is taking all necessary steps by requesting that the 22 million consumers in the mid-Atlantic region cut back energy use to prevent the imposition of interrupted service.

This is a very serious situation.

At 12:30 p.m. today Pepco will activate its Kilowatchers programs and similar programs for some of its commercial customers.

SOURCE Potomac Electric Power Company

(C) 2000 PR Newswire. All rights reserved.

-- (, May 09, 2000


I just don't remember hot early springs of the past causing such emergencies. Makes a person wonder if the public is not being told the entire power story. Imagine that!

-- Ruth Angell (, May 10, 2000.

May 10, 2000

Peco sweats it outUtility records highest demand for month of May

by Gloria Campisi Daily News Staff Writer

It could have been worse.

You could have been in Saudi Arabia, where the temperature was 104 degrees yesterday.

The electric company probably wishes you were.

"It was a tense afternoon," said Peco Energy public relations manager David Hackney.

But the temperature climbed to only 88 - five degees below the record of 93 set in 1936 - and customers apparently heeded the utility's pleas to conserve.

The utility avoided any voltage reductions or temporary service interruptions, still the utility yesterday afternoon hit a record for usage in May. Demand reached 6,800 megawatts, Hackney said. The all- time high was reached last July 9, when demand was nearly 8,000, he said.

Also, the PJM Interconnection, the power grid that supplies electricity to Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states, was able to buy power from outside its service area, "apparently out toward the west, where some storms had come through and the temperature dropped," Hackney said.

Those storms, laced with thunder, are expected to roll through the Philadelphia area this afternoon and send temperatures to a more normal level in the 70s, meteorologists predicted.

Forecasters said they had begun talking about a warm spell late last week, but still it took the region by surprise.

"Electric companies routinely schedule maintenance to be done in April and May because traditionally April and May are very mild months and months of low demand," Hackney said.

"Throughout the PJM Interconnection, a number of plants were off for routine maintenance, including a couple at Peco," he said.

Yesterday was the fifth day that temperatures reached 10 degrees or more above normal, said Laura Hannon of Accu-Weather.

If it makes you feel any better, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Eberwine said it hit 104 yesterday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 99 in New Delhi, India, and 98 in Wichita Falls, Texas.

The hottest day ever recorded on Earth was on Sept. 13, 1922, when it was 136 in Azizia, Libya, Eberwine said. The U.S. record is 134 at Death Valley on July 10, 1913. Philadelphia's all-time high was 106 on Aug. 7, 1918.

"It's unusual to have a spell of warm weather quite so early in the year, but certainly not unprecedented," Hannon said.

-- Martin Thompson (, May 10, 2000.

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