PJM encourages customers to conserve energy

This ABC article and accompanying video describes how the PJM interconnect operator is urging electricity users (its customer base) to slow their energy use and conserve energy during the cold snap that has descended on many northern and eastern states.

The company that operates ComEd’s grid is asking customers to conserve energy Tuesday as frigid temperatures are increasing the demand for electricity.

PJM Interconnection, the grid operator, says it’s extremely important to cut back on energy use between 6-10 a.m. and 3-9 p.m.

Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits. The company also asks customers to postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m.

Also, turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using…

While I understand the thinking behind the request—an electrical system, pushed to its limits by generation capacity closures and extreme cold means that customers could suffer power outages if a major disruption occurs.

The unfortunate reality is that this situation is fundamentally backward. People may not like to admit it, but this is NOT progress; we are regressing back to the time when we were at the mercy of extreme temperatures. It used to be (not so long ago) that Americans were able to turn up the thermostat when it got cold. We could be confident that we had the technology, the electrical system capacity, and the financial well-being to deal with the added stress of the occasional extreme cold snap.

Today, however, extreme regulations are closing generation plants, reducing our generation capacity, and our response to a spot of extremely cold weather is to avoid a massive system outage by turning off the heat and shivering in the cold and dark.

This new “normal” demonstrates the truth of Alex Epstein‘s comment that “fossil fuels don’t make a safe climate dangerous for humanity, they make a dangerous climate safe for humanity.”

31. January 2014 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Energy, USA, Utilities | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on PJM encourages customers to conserve energy