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FirstEnergy Utilities Offer Tips On How To Use Energy Wisely During Excessive Summer Heat

AKRON, Ohio, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As another 90 degree day impacts FirstEnergy's (NYSE: FE) service area, the company is offering suggestions to customers on how to stay comfortable while using electricity wisely during this period of high demand.  In addition, company personnel are monitoring the system closely and have staffing and resource plans in place should any localized service interruptions occur as a result of the heat.

"Even though the excessive heat has resulted in heavy electricity usage as our customers try to keep cool, our system is very robust and is designed to operate effectively even in these extreme conditions," said Charles E. Jones, president of FirstEnergy's utilities.  "We are monitoring the situation very closely and if our customers experience any localized service interruptions due to the heat, all they need to do is call and our crews will respond."

While PJM Interconnection, the regional grid operator, does not expect any major issues with the supply of power in the region, here are some common-sense hot weather tips customers can follow to reduce their electrical usage:

  • Set your air conditioner's thermostat to as high a temperature as is comfortable. Every degree you can increase the temperature in your home will result in using about 3 percent less energy during the hottest summer days.
  • During sunny weather, close drapes or blinds on the sunny side of your home to prevent the sun from directly heating the inside of your home.
  • Use fans – moving air cools your skin faster, resulting in greater comfort on hot days.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to keep the temperature in your home warmer during the work day, then set it to be cooler by the time you arrive home.
  • For window air conditioners, only operate the unit while someone is in the room.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer as full as you can. Frozen or cold items in the refrigerator help keep other items cool, reducing the amount of work your refrigerator has to do to maintain a lower temperature.
  • Close rooms you don't use regularly during the summer, and close the air conditioning vents in those rooms, as well.
  • Try to avoid using heat-producing appliances in your home during the hottest hours of the day. The less heat you produce in your home, the less work your air conditioner will have to do.
  • Consider investing in ENERGY STAR® appliances or HVAC systems. Your utility company may offer rebates on these purchases and tax deductions may apply, as well.
  • Check your furnace filter and, if necessary, change it. Clogged filters waste energy and money by forcing your HVAC system to work harder than necessary.

FirstEnergy utilities include Jersey Central Power & Light in New Jersey; Ohio Edison, The Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company and Toledo Edison in Ohio; Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power, and West Penn Power in Pennsylvania; Mon Power in West Virginia; and Potomac Edison in Maryland.

Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the "Report Outage" link on www.firstenergycorp.com via smartphone.

For updated company information, including hot weather tips, customers are urged to visit the 24/7 Power Center at www.firstenergycorp.com/outages .  The utility companies also will provide updates via Twitter:

FirstEnergy's new texting and alert services and continued enhancements to its website and outage maps have made it easier for customers to report outages and obtain restoration information.

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