Company offers tips for customers to manage rising temperatures and energy costs
WILLIAMSPORT, Md., June 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In anticipation of increased electric use along with the potential for seasonal storms, Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), has completed inspections and equipment maintenance across its Maryland and West Virginia service territory to enhance service reliability for customers during the summer months.
“During the summer months, our electrical system faces increased demand as our customers use their fans and air conditioning to stay cool,” said Linda Moss, president of FirstEnergy’s Maryland operations. “The inspections and maintenance we conduct are essential in enhancing service reliability and keeping our customers comfortable as temperatures climb.”
Helicopter patrols have completed inspections of more than 1,300 miles of transmission lines located in Potomac Edison’s service territory. The inspections are designed to look for damaged wire, broken cross arms, failed insulators and other hardware problems not visible from the ground. Potential reliability issues identified during the inspection will be prioritized and addressed.
On the ground, Potomac Edison personnel inspected the company’s 212 substations earlier this spring and completed needed repairs prior to the summer. The inspections included using thermovision cameras to capture infrared images that can reveal potential problems with equipment. By identifying hot spots, maintenance and repairs can be completed before a power outage occurs.
Crews also conducted inspections of distribution circuits, focusing on more than 600 line capacitors that maintain proper electric voltage. These devices are especially useful in remote locations because they automatically adjust voltage levels to accommodate changing system conditions.
In addition, Potomac Edison recently completed its annual storm restoration exercise as part of preparations for hurricane season and potential severe storms that commonly occur during the summer months. Storm drills are becoming more common in the utility industry in the wake of severe weather over the last several years.
For more information on preparing for severe weather, or for updates if storms do cause power outages, visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages.
With the summer storm season also comes higher-than-usual temperatures and rising energy costs. Customers can take steps to beat the heat while also managing their electricity bill this summer. The following tips can help customers use electricity wisely during this period of high demand:
- Set thermostats as high as comfort will allow. Every degree a customer can increase the temperature in their home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the summer.
- Use fans – moving air cools skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
- During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on windows facing the sun to prevent direct radiant heating from impacting interior temperatures.
- Use a programmable or smart thermostat to keep temperatures higher when no one is home and to reduce the temperature before arrival back home.
- Seal any leaks with caulk or weather stripping to prevent hot air from sneaking into your home.
- Check air conditioner and furnace fan filters. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing HVAC systems to work harder than necessary.
- Avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat produced at home, the less work the air conditioner must do.
- Payment arrangements and assistance programs are available for customers who need help with their electric bills. For more information, visit www.firstenergycorp.com/billassist.
Summer is also a time when contractors and homeowners spend more time outdoors completing projects. Important outdoor electrical safety tips are available at www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety.
Potomac Edison serves about 275,000 customers in all or parts of Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery and Washington counties in Maryland and about 151,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Follow Potomac Edison at www.potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, 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. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
Editor’s Note: Photos of workers completing summer readiness inspections are available for download on Flickr. A video of utility personnel conducting a thermovision inspection and explaining the work can be found on the company’s YouTube channel.
SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.