Utilities watch supplies as demand soars

    Electricity providers monitor systems amid heat

    This week’s scorching temperatures have the region’s utilities bracing for high energy usage.

    New Jersey’s largest electricity provider anticipates record demand for the summer to hit this week, with the thermometer expected to hover around 100 degrees for several days.

    Karen Johnson, a spokeswoman for Public Service Electric & Gas, says the utility is monitoring higher power usage to make sure it doesn’t overwhelm the grid.

    “It can cause some stress on our lines and other equipment and that’s why we’re monitoring everything,” she said.

    “And, should an outage occur, we do have personnel on hand to go out and make sure that things are fixed as quickly as possible,” she said.

    Johnson says PSE&G doesn’t anticipate implementing a so-called brownout to conserve power. A brownout is a small, temporary cutback in the power supply.

    PECO, Philadelphia’s major utility, doesn’t expect record demand, but it’s still preparing for possible outages as customers switch on air conditioners while continuing to run large appliances.

    A PECO spokesman says large industrial consumers may be asked to reduce voltage if electric supply runs low.

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