With temperatures expected to hit a high of 96 -- and the heat index recording triple digits -- PPL Electric Utilities will shut down central air conditioners for all Peak Saver participants from 1 to 6 p.m.
Not all participants will begin and end the conservation event at the same time. Actual start and end times may vary by 15 minutes.
Met-Ed has also dispatched its EasyGreen program, managing participants' air conditioners between noon and 6 p.m.
The programs are meant to reduce times of peak electricity demand.
According to www.pplelectric.com, a digital cycling unit (DCU) is connected on or near participants' central air conditioning unit/heat pump. On the hottest summer weekdays -- June 1 through Sept. 30 -- PPL automatically coordinates participating units to help balance the demand for electricity.
But this does not mean you will be left sweltering for a full five hours, according to PPL. When energy demand approaches a critical point, the DCU receives a signal that puts the compressor into a "conservation mode." This means the compressor will operate half the time it did during the hour prior to the conservation event, according to PPL's website. However, during the entire conservation event, the unit's fan will run uninterrupted, circulating cool air throughout the home to maintain comfort.
The first run of the energy-saving program on June 20, for both PPL and Met-Ed, didn't go over well, according to a report in The Morning Call.
Met-Ed received more than 1,000 complaints and questions from participants, while PPL saw about 750 customers drop out of its Peak Saver program, the report states.
If you are a PPL customer and have any questions prior to or during the event, call 1-866-748-2333. For additional information about the Peak Saver program, visit www.epowerpeaksaver.com.
For Met-Ed customers, call 866-311-8558. For additional information about the EasyGreen program, visit easygreen-met-ed.com.
Here are some helpful energy-saving tips, courtesy of PPL:
1. Keep window curtains, drapes and blinds closed during the day when the sun is bright. Windows can act as a giant heat lamp in the summertime.
2. Give your air conditioner a break by helping to reduce the time it needs to cool your home. Set the thermostat at 76-78 degrees when the house is occupied, and at 85 degrees when no one is home. You’ll save 1 to 2 percent on cooling costs for each degree you can raise your thermostat.
Raise the setting in the summer when no one is at home for more than three or four hours at a time. If you are away for a weekend or longer for vacation, turn the air conditioner off.
3. Air filters should be changed regularly -- at least prior to the summer season, inspected each month and changed as necessary. Filters are inexpensive and can help ensure efficient operation of the appliance. A dirty air conditioner will cost more to operate and struggle to provide the same level of comfort.
4. Check air and return vents on a regular basis to keep circulation air paths clear. Also, keep air ducts around the house clean and uncovered.
5. Ceiling fans are wonderful to have for air movement and typically cost very little to operate. Keep in mind, only use ceiling fans in rooms that will be occupied. When using ceiling fans, raise the temperature setting on your thermostat by one to three degrees.
6. Window or portable air conditioning units are designed for single rooms. Use them generally when areas are going to be occupied and turn them off when no one is using the room.
7. Turn off non-essential appliances, including TVs and computer monitors that give off heat. Postpone using appliances that produce heat such as clothes dryers, dishwashers and stoves until after 7 p.m. Use microwave ovens or outdoor grills rather than kitchen stoves.
8. If you do not have air conditioners and you are depending on just fans (window, floor or ceiling fans), you need to keep windows open for air circulation. This is critical for safety. A dehumidifier can even help out in the summer when you don’t have an air conditioner.
9. When temperatures are cooler at night, consider shutting off the air conditioner and ventilate the house naturally or with fans.