PECO: Extreme Heat and Summer Storms? No Sweat!

summer heatImage by Gerd Altmann

PHILADELPHIA, PA — While heading into summer 2021 looks much different than a year ago as our region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still two things we can expect: hot summer heat, and severe storms.

With that, PECO states they have been hard at work for the past several months to ensure the company’s critical electric infrastructure is prepared to handle increased demand during the hotter summer months. This proactive effort also includes infrastructure work to strengthen the local energy grid to prevent outages caused by severe summer storms.

Preparations include testing systems, processes, and procedures to respond to severe weather, and completing more than 165 projects and initiatives across the region to ensure there is ample electricity to keep customers’ fans and air conditioners humming all summer long. During the next five years, PECO is investing approximately $6 billion across its electric and natural gas systems, which includes PECO’s Reliability & Resiliency Plan, to make the local energy grid stronger and more resilient to provide safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy to customers.

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The region is seeing the benefits of PECO’s investment. In 2020, excluding major storms, the number of interruptions experienced by customers, and the average duration of those outages was the fourth lowest and fifth shortest, respectively, in PECO’s history. Compared to 2019, the number of electric outages has decreased by 11 percent, and the outage length has decreased by 16 percent.

“We are committed to providing safe, reliable, and resilient service for our customers every day, no matter how high the temperature climbs,” said John McDonald, PECO senior vice president and COO. “We work throughout the year to inspect our infrastructure and proactively make upgrades and improvements so we can continue to meet the needs of our customers when they need it the most, even when faced with extreme temperatures or storms.”

PECO is also helping customers stay safe and save on their energy bills with a number of interactive resources:

Storm Safety

PECO states while they work to prevent as many outages as possible, severe storms can cause damage and power outages. Customers can act now to prepare for severe weather by visiting peco.com/storm.

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PECO offers important storm readiness resources, including how to prepare for an approaching storm, how to properly use generators if power is lost, what to expect after storms, and how to stay safe.

Save Energy, Save Money

Higher temperatures can also lead to higher energy bills, and PECO states it provides a variety of programs to help residential and business customers save energy and money. For tips to save energy, visit peco.com/waystosave.

In addition, customers can stay cool, save energy and lower their bills during the summer months by following a few simple tips:

  • Turn it off: Turn off all unnecessary lighting and devices.
  • Manage your thermostat: Keep thermostats at a constant, comfortable level when at home. Raise the thermostat setting for days of extreme heat to save even more. Install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping.
  • Keep shades, blinds and curtains closed: About 40 percent of unwanted heat comes through windows. Simply closing blinds and curtains, which act as a layer of insulation, can reduce heat in your home.
  • Use ceiling fans to circulate air: For those without air conditioning, use ceiling fans or portable fans with the windows partially open to circulate fresh air into your home. For those with air conditioning, fans can be used to evenly distribute cool air.
  • Use appliances wisely: Run appliances that produce heat (like clothes dryers, ovens and dishwashers) at night when it is cooler.
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