The region's power grid operator is asking customers to conserve electricity today as frigid temperatures are expected to increase demand to near-record levels.
PJM Interconnection, which oversees and operates the electricity transmission grid that runs across West Virginia and 12 other states, issued the conservation alert early Monday.
"The call for conservation is prompted by another wave of frigid weather that will push up the demand for electricity," the company said in a news release.
PJM officials are asking customers to make an extra effort to conserve power during expected peak usage times between 6 and 10 a.m. and 5 and 9 p.m.
Conservation methods include turning off lights and appliances that are not needed and postponing use of major appliances, including stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers, until midday or after 9 p.m.
Officials also recommend consumers set thermostats lower than usual, but only if their health permits it.
"Conserving electricity tomorrow will help ensure adequate power supplies," the company said Monday.
Following PJM's lead, Appalachian Power issued its own advisory Monday afternoon asking its customers to conserve energy during peak hours. However, the power company noted it believed its generating capacity would be able to meet expected demand today.
"We are confident that Appalachian Power will have sufficient capacity to serve all of our customers during this time of high demand," said Phil Wright, vice president of distribution operations at APCo. "We will continue to monitor the power supply in cooperation with PJM to keep power flowing in the region and maintain the integrity and reliability of the system."
This is not the first time this year that PJM has had to ask customers to conserve energy. The company issued a conservation alert Jan. 7 as a polar vortex weather system descended on much of its territory.
The company said at the time the sustained, extreme cold, coupled with high electricity demand, could cause problems at some natural gas-fired power plants.