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For Immediate Release


Power Pool Utilities Reduce Voltage 5 Percent

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2000

PEPCO and the other members of the regional PJM Power Pool reduced system voltage by 5 percent as of 3:45 p.m. due to the region's unseasonably early hot spell and to ensure a reliable supply of power for all customers. These PJM companies operate as a single system to provide electric service to more than 22 million people in the Mid-Atlantic area.

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.

Earlier today, Pepco activated its Kilowatchers Club programs to reduce demand for electricity. More than 212,000 residential customers volunteer to allow Pepco to cycle their air conditioners off-and-on periodically on weekday afternoons for no longer than six hours. When the program is activated, Pepco saves 235 megawatts.

These programs are designed to reduce customer demand and avoid the need for mandatory conservation actions by all customers. Other voluntary conservation actions Pepco requests at this time include:

  • Close curtains and blinds to keep the sun out and retain cooler air inside your home.
  • Do not open refrigerators or freezers and turn off all unnecessary lights.
  • Postpone using major heat-producing appliances like electric stoves and clothes dryers until the cooler evening hours.
  • Saving computer information frequently.

A voltage reduction reduces demand because equipment and appliances will use less power to function. The voltage reduction will not be noticeable to the vast majority of customers, because most computers, motorized equipment and appliances can generally operate satisfactorily at lower voltages. Once operating conditions on the PJM system return to normal, the voltage reduction will be lifted.

NOTE: VOLT--A unit of electrical pressure that pushes electrons along a conductor. This is analogous to the pressure that pushes water through a pipe. Most motors and other appliances are designed to tolerate a voltage variation of 10% (up or down).

Point of Contact:
Nancy Moses

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