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FLORIDA'S UTILITIES PREPARE FOR SUMMER

 TAMPA, Fla., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Electric supply this summer will be adequate to meet projected demand, according to the Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, Inc. (FCG), an association of 37 of the state's electric utilities. This forecast assumes normal summer weather conditions.
 Florida's electricity demand, however, is particularly weather- sensitive. During typical summer weather, hot days are moderated by afternoon rainstorms. However, if abnormally hot weather persists over a four- or five-day period without typical afternoon thundershowers, heat buildup can occur. This makes cooling equipment work harder for longer periods of time to maintain a constant temperature.
 The peak use of electricity this summer is projected to reach 30,723 megawatts in August. Peak demand can be lowered, if necessary, by demand-side programs (conservation and energy management) now in place across the state, resulting in a net summer projected peak of 28,898 megawatts.
 Currently, electric supply available for the summer peak is 34,146 megawatts, resulting in a reserve margin of a little more than 18 percent. (Reserve margin is the difference between available energy supply resources and forecasted peak electricity use.) This is slightly higher than last year's summer reserve margin of 15 percent due to the addition of new generation by a number of utilities around the state.
 Analyses of past years show that approximately 1,000 megawatts of generation can be out of service across a peak period due to unexpected problems. If this were to occur during this summer's peak, the reserve margin would drop to approximately 15 percent.
 At times, Florida's electric utilities have had to alert consumers to possible electricity shortages caused by unseasonable weather coupled with the unavailability of some generating units.
 In the event of supply problems, utilities will activate the state generating capacity shortage plan. The success of this plan depends on consumer involvement. During tight supply situations, Florida's electric utilities will ask the news media to make public appeals to consumers asking them to reduce electricity use. Consumers can help by responding to utility requests for emergency cutback of electricity consumption, particularly during peak demand times of 4-8 p.m.
 SUMMER TIPS
 HOW TO CUT BACK YOUR ELECTRICITY USE DURING SHORTAGES
 -- Raise the thermostat setting for your air conditioner 5-10
 degrees, if health permits. Keep the temperature readings
 constant until you are notified that the energy shortage has
 passed.
 -- Turn off electric water heaters at the circuit breaker.
 -- Close curtains and blinds to help insulate your home and building
 against cooling loss.
 -- Avoid using room air conditioners. Turn them off when you leave
 the room or your house.
 -- Reduce use of major appliances, such as dishwashers, stoves and
 clothes dryers.
 -- Turn off all nonessential lighting and electric appliances such
 as pool pumps and sprinkler systems.
 -- Leave refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
 -- If someone in your home is dependent on electric powered,
 life-sustaining medical equipment, check backup facilities.
 -- If you experience a power outage, turn off all major appliances,
 including the air conditioner, immediately following the service
 interruption. This will prevent the system serving your home
 from being overloaded when power is restored. When power is
 restored, turn appliances on gradually and only as needed.
 -- Wait 30 minutes to one hour before calling your utility for
 service assistance if you experience a power outage. Do not call
 911. This will help keep phone lines open for calls on equipment
 problems unrelated to utility initiated rolling blackouts.
 THE GENERATING CAPACITY SHORTAGE PLAN
 The Generating Capacity Shortage Plan has four stages.
 STAGE I -- GENERATING CAPACITY ADVISORY
 An advisory is similar to a hurricane watch. It is intended to give early warning of potential electricity shortfalls and bring utilities, emergency management officials, the governor and the Public Service Commission to a state of readiness.
 STAGE II -- GENERATING CAPACITY ALERT
 An alert is based on reserve margin -- the difference between available statewide resources and the amount of peak electric demand projected for that day. When the reserves fall below the size of the largest generating unit in the state (currently around 900 megawatts), an alert is called.
 STAGE III -- GENERATING CAPACITY EMERGENCY
 An emergency occurs when firm load is lost or, in other words, blackouts are inevitable somewhere in Florida. Rolling blackouts, manually activated by utilities are a last resort to avoid system overload and possible equipment damage. Without them, the electric system could experience an automatic shutdown that would result in more widespread and longer blackouts. By the time rolling blackouts are used, utilities would have exhausted every available means to balance supply and demand.
 STAGE IV -- SYSTEM LOAD RESTORATION
 This is the last stage of the plan and is instituted when rolling blackouts have been terminated and power supply is adequate. It is the recovery stage and concerted efforts are made to provide frequent system status reports.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: Ron Spinka of Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, 813-289-5644/


CO: Florida Electric Power Coordinating Group, Inc. ST: Florida IN: UTI SU:

JB-AW -- FL001 -- 6389 06/08/93 09:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1993
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