Public Service Commission
PSC BACKS CALLS FOR ENERGY CONSERVATION - Electric utilities in Kentucky able to meet demand
Although Kentucky’s electric utilities are meeting high demand for power, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) is asking customers to conserve energy in order to reduce the strain on regional power transmission facilities.
“Both of the regional grid operators serving Kentucky have called for customers to conserve energy during the current heat wave,” PSC Chairman Mark David Goss said. “We don’t anticipate any problems in Kentucky, but energy conservation can help utilities during times of high demand and will, at the same time, lower utility bills for customers.”
Goss said that Kentucky’s electric utilities have told the PSC that they expect no problems in generating enough electricity to meet demand over the next few days or in transmitting that electricity to where it is needed.
But both the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) and the PJM Interconnection, Inc. (PJM) have requested that the utilities within their control areas ask their customers to reduce usage. The two grid operators experienced record demand early this week.
MISO operates the grid within the service territories of Louisville Gas & Electric Co., Kentucky Utilities Co. and Duke Energy-Kentucky. PJM is the grid operator for the Kentucky Power Co. (American Electric Power) service territory.
“We went through one heat wave earlier this summer without any problems and expect to get through this one in good shape as well,” PSC Vice Chairman Teresa Hill said. “Any steps that consumers take to reduce electric usage will help them and their utility company.”
Goss and Hill reminded consumers that simple measures can make a big difference in energy consumption.
“Set your thermostat at 78 degrees in the summer,” she said. “Every degree below that increases your air-conditioning bill by as much as 8 percent.”
Other easy conservation measures include turning off lights, televisions and home computers when they are not in use, Goss said. Closing blinds during the day can lower air conditioner usage, he added.
More energy conservation tips are available on the Web from the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy at http://energy.ky.gov/dre3/tips/tips.htm.
The PSC is an agency within the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has approximately 110 employees.
ENERGY CONSERVATION TIP SHEET FOLLOWS
SAVING ENERGY IN THE SUMMER HEAT
* If you have central air conditioning, set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees, which is comfortable for most people. Every degree below 78 raises your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 8 percent.
* Keep blinds and drapes closed during the day, particularly on windows facing south. This will reduce air conditioning demand by keeping out sun and heat.
* Lights, televisions, computers and appliances not only use electricity, they generate heat. Keep them turned off when they are not needed.
* Use appliances such as ovens, dishwashers and clothes dryers early in the day or late in the evening, when temperatures are cooler.
* Use your microwave instead of your stove and oven. It generates less heat.
* Use fans to supplement room or central air conditioning. They do not lower air temperatures, but the breeze they produce makes it feel cooler. Fans use much less electricity than air conditioners.
* Use the exhaust fans in your bathroom sparingly. In just one hour they can remove a houseful of cooled air.
* Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents. Not only do fluorescents use much less energy and last 10 times longer, they generate less heat.