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ELECTRIC USE BY GEORGIA EMCS REACHES ALL-TIME HIGH

 ATLANTA, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Oglethorpe Power Corporation said customers of the 39 Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs) it serves are using record amounts of electricity this week as daily temperatures approach the century mark in many parts of the state.
 Demand for electric power by the 2 million-plus Georgians served by the EMCs topped 4,100 megawatts (MW) on Sunday and again on Tuesday. That was more than 6 percent higher than the old record of 3,865 MW, established last year. Continued hot weather likely will mean extremely high electric use today as well.
 Oglethorpe Power System Control Manager Doug Calvert said the record established on Sunday is particularly noteworthy because most utilities do not experience their highest demands on weekends.
 "Our system is two-thirds residential, and that means people at home on the weekend trying to stay cool can have a big impact on demand for power," Calvert said. He pointed out that about 1 million people in the greater Atlanta area are served by EMCs.
 Calvert said air conditioning is the single-largest contributor to high electrical demand, but said consumers can take steps to manage their energy use wisely during times when electricity use is high.
 "We recommend thermostats be set at 78 degrees or higher and that the use of major electrical appliances be avoided during hot afternoon and evening hours," Calvert said.
 "We have adequate supplies of electricity to meet the needs of our member EMCs," he noted. "However, higher demand means that we must use some power plants that are more expensive to operate. By keeping demand in check, we can keep electricity costs lower."
 Calvert said the recent hot weather could have sent demand even higher had it not been for a state-of-the-art load management system operated by EMCs around the state. This network of radio-controlled switches controls demand by briefly cycling off appliances such as central air conditioning and electric water heating systems during times when demand is high. With more than 350,000 switches, the EMC load management system -- coordinated through Oglethorpe Power's control center -- is one of the largest in the country.
 Oglethorpe Power Corporation is the generation and transmission cooperative providing electricity to 39 of Georgia's 42 customer-owned EMCs. It is the largest power supply cooperative in the nation.
 -0- 7/21/93
 /CONTACT: Greg Jones of Oglethorpe Power Corporation, 404-270-7890/


CO: Oglethorpe Power Corporation ST: Georgia IN: UTI SU:

BR-BN -- AT017 -- 4096 07/21/93 15:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1993
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