The extreme cold has significantly increased the demand for electricity, leading the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to call on consumers to conserve electricity.

Another plea for conservation is coming from an electricity grid operator, PJM Interconnection, which provides power for more than 61 million people in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

PJM is asking customers, if health permits, to curtail electricity use, especially between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Some of the ways suggested to cut back include:

• Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits.
• Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid?day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases.
• Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using.
• Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible. This includes overhead doors on attached garages.
• Seal off unused rooms. Close the floor or wall registers and return air vents, and keep the doors closed in those areas.
• Open south-facing window curtains, drapes and blinds during the day. Close coverings at night to keep the heat in.

Additional energy conservation tips are available on the PUC website.

PJM’s region includes all or parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

PJM is coordinating efforts among generators, power suppliers and local utilities.