APCo asks customers to conserve energy

January 7, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As arctic air and frigid temperatures drive demand for electricity, the energy grid operator that serves the Mid-Atlantic region on Tuesday asked Appalachian Power and its customers to help out by conserving energy.

PJM Interconnection operates the power grid that serves 61 million customers in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. The grid operator has asked the public to conserve electricity Tuesday, especially between the hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., when PJM predicts demand will hit record levels.

“Voluntarily conserving electricity can help ensure adequate power supplies for everyone and lessons the likelihood that service will be interrupted,” said Phil Wright, Appalachian Power’s vice president of distribution operations. “We are confident at Appalachian Power that we have sufficient capacity to serve all of our customers during this time of high demand. We will continue to monitor the power supply in cooperation with PJM to keep power flowing in the region and maintain the integrity and reliability of the system.”

PJM also asked Appalachian Power and other electricity providers to increase generation to emergency levels, manage load demands and issue a potential reduce voltage warning should conditions warrant further usage reductions.

During extreme weather conditions, demand for electricity goes up as customers turn up the thermostat to counter the bitter cold. Consumers can take simple conservation steps:

Decrease thermostat settings to the lowest comfortable level, if health permits.

Postpone use of major electric appliances, such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers, until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases.

Turn off unused and unneeded lights and electrical appliances.

Additional energy saving tips are posted at

Appalachian Power customers who do lose service can report their outage by calling the customer service center toll-free. In Tennessee, the number is 1-800-967-4237; Virginia, 1-800-956-4237; and West Virginia, 1-800-982-4237. During times of high call volume callers may hear a recorded message and can leave a voice message about the outage.

Those customers with access to a laptop, smartphone or tablet have the option to report an outage online at They also can track their individual outage at with a user ID and password.

Appalachian Power provides electricity to 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.