Dominion Virginia Power urges customers to conserve electricity during extreme cold weather

Posted at 6:38 AM, Jan 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-28 06:42:20-05

Dominion, in conjunction with PJM, a regional transmission system operator, is requesting customers to conserve electricity on Tuesday.

Dominion Virginia Power is expecting extremely cold weather throughout its service area this Tuesday and Wednesday that will place additional demand on residential heating systems and increase the amount of electricity customers are using.

While Dominion expects to be able to meet the demand, all available electric generating units in Virginia and throughout PJM's 13-state region, are expected to be running at maximum levels to meet the demand. By conserving energy, especially between 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Tuesday, customers can help reduce the pressure on the generation and transmission systems that provide electricity to the region.

The following tips can help lower energy usage and electric bills while keeping homes comfortable:
• Set the heating system thermostat to the lowest temperature that leaves you comfortable. Dominion and the U.S. Department of Energy generally recommend 68 degrees. If you have a heat pump, it is important that you leave it on a constant setting for maximum energy savings.
• Turn off any unneeded lights.
• Delay using dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers and other large appliances until later in the evening.
• Keep the water heater set at 120 degrees. If your water heater is located in an unheated space, install an insulation wrap on the heater and adjacent pipes to prevent heat loss.
• Seal any areas where you feel cold air coming into the house, such as underneath and around exterior doors, windows and electric outlets.
• Close the flue to any fireplace that is not in use.