AKRON, Ohio, July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- FirstEnergy Corp.'s (NYSE: FE) distribution and transmission systems and generating stations are prepared to meet the expected increase in customer electricity usage associated with 90 degree temperatures forecast across its service area.
"By proactively inspecting and maintaining our utility equipment prior to the summer season, we help ensure system reliability when temperatures climb and customers depend on us to stay comfortable," said Steven E. Strah, president of FirstEnergy Utilities. "From western Ohio to the New Jersey shore, along with parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland, our electric system is very robust and is designed to operate effectively even in these extreme conditions."
Throughout the year, FirstEnergy's utilities have completed projects, conducted cost-effective helicopter inspections and performed equipment maintenance and tree trimming to help ensure service reliability for customers when demand for electricity increases during the summer.
Comprehensive preventive maintenance work also was completed on FirstEnergy's nuclear, coal and natural gas generating stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to ensure they operate reliably during the hot summer months and help supply power when increased air conditioning usage drives up demand for electricity.
FirstEnergy offers some common-sense hot weather tips customers can follow to stay comfortable while using electricity wisely during this period of high demand:
- Set the air conditioner's thermostat to as high a temperature as is comfortable. Every degree a customer can increase the temperature in their home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the hottest summer days.
- During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on the sunny side of the home to prevent the sun from directly heating the inside.
- Use fans – moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
- Use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature warmer during the work day, then set it to be cooler by the time you arrive home.
- For window air conditioners, only operate the unit while someone is in the room.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers as full as possible. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work the refrigerator has to do to maintain a lower temperature.
- Close rooms that aren't used regularly during the summer, and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms, as well.
- Try to avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced in the home, the less work the air conditioner will have to do.
- Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances or HVAC systems. FirstEnergy's utilities may offer rebates on these purchases and tax deductions may apply, as well.
- Check furnace filters and, if necessary, change it. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
FirstEnergy utilities include: Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey; Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Metropolitan Edison Company (Met-Ed), Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec), Pennsylvania Power (Penn Power), and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; and Potomac Edison in Maryland.
Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS
(1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts. More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages. The utility companies also will provide updates via Twitter:
- Toledo Edison: @ToledoEdison
- The Illuminating Company: @IlluminatingCo
- Ohio Edison: @OhioEdison
- Mon Power: @MonPowerWV
- JCP&L: @JCP_L
- Penn Power: @Penn_Power
- Penelec: @Penelec
- Met-ED: @Met_Ed
- Potomac Edison: @PotomacEdison
- West Penn Power: @W_Penn_Power
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York. Visit FirstEnergy on the web at www.firstenergycorp.com, and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.