Due to the extreme heat, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and other utilities in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland (PJM) power pool have reduced system voltage by five percent effective at 1:40 p.m. on July 27. This voltage reduction was implemented at the request of PJM. PJM asked utilities to reduce voltage to stretch the supply of available power and still meet customers requirements. The majority of SMECOs customers will not notice a voltage reduction. It should have no adverse effect on computers, motorized equipment, or appliances.
In addition to reducing voltage, SMECO is also operating its load management system to lower the demand for electricity. Load management switches installed on over 67,000 appliances have been activated to cut down on the amount of electricity used by air conditioners and water heaters.
While the temperature remains high, SMECO is asking its customers to do what they can to limit their use of power. Once demand levels return to normal, the voltage reduction will be lifted. The Co-op will keep customers posted as the situation develops.