The electric company, on behalf of PJM Interconnection, issued a press release requesting customers conserve energy Tuesday afternoon. PJM is the grid operator for 51 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The request was made following the weather-related loss of some energy as the result of continuing efforts to stay warm in the extreme cold that has gripped New Jersey and much of the rest of the country. PSE&G expects the demand for energy to continue for several days as the cold weather continues. PJM is implementing emergency procedures to ensure customers have energy, according to PSE&G officials.
The electric company is requesting customers conserve energy specifically between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, if health permits, by taking the following steps:
· Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits;
· Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases; and
· Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
PSE&G expects high demand, but doesn’t expect demand to exceed the all-time record of 7,195 megawatts set on Feb. 5, 2007.
Additionally, Camden County officials released the following tips for staying warm during the frigid weather:
- Dress in layers and cover your exposed skin to avoid frostbite.
- It only takes 30 to 45 minutes for exposed skin to develop frostbite
- Mittens keep children’s hands warmer than gloves.
- Avoid wearing cotton, it holds in moisture and loses its insulating properties.
- Remember that even clear-looking sidewalks can be slippery.
- Keep dog walks brief, don’t leave animals outside and consider a dog coat.
- Please check on your neighbors, especially those that are elderly, disabled or live alone.
- Using your ceiling fan clockwise on low recirculates warm air through the room.
- Never use a stove, oven or a gas grill to heat your home.
- Use space heaters safely on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Turn off space heaters before going to bed.
- Wood -burning fireplaces should have a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs. Never leave children alone in the room when a fire is lit. Keep all flammable items at least three feet away from the fireplace. Always make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid the costly repair of pipes that freeze and burst.
- To prevent pipes from freezing, run water, even at a trickle. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing, but be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
“If possible, please stay indoors today to keep warm and stay out of the elements,” said Freeholder Scot McCray, liaison to the Camden County Office of Emergency Management. “If you must go out, please take precautions to keep you and your family safe from the extreme temperatures.”
Camden County remains under a Code Blue severe weather emergency through Wednesday morning.