Why should a paying customer worry about crashing the energy grid during peak times of consumption when AEP has a net worth of $15B? Shouldn't a paying customer be able to stay warm or cold any time of the year without worrying about "crashing the energy grid"? Seriously! I heard a reporter on the news report that customers should turn their thermostats down in the morning during peak consumption times because of a fear of crashing the grid. IF this is true, shouldn't AEP be investing more monies in their infrastructure instead of paying dividends or paying hefty salaries? OH....that's right. AEP has what you call complete control over what they do with their monies. AEP can operate their business without the fear of customer satisfaction because really what can the customer do...live off the grid? Wow! I think I may have talked myself into being a shareholder.
Seriously though, shouldn't all of us on here be concerned with how old our existing energy grid is in the United States?
This polar vortex really doest have much to do with the U.S. Electric grid (per se).. and BTW, search "National Electric Grid (US), they're their own company(s) .. besides, technology & improvements are always being made there, and assisted thru co-operation of all Utilities.
Dominion Resources (D) even developed and patented 'new technology' on voltage reduction that actually improves Electrical Transmission to you, the customer.
Did you know 'solar flares' (yes, from the Sun) can disrupt and damage electrical grids !! It happened in Canada a few years back. That was Mother Natures event, so was the Polar Vortex .. which spurred these unanticipated unpredictable "extreme events" .. therefore warnings (for customers) were issued about Peak Demand .. and YOU did good by heeding this warning (thank you).
While you're at it, read up on Electrical Demand. AND if anyone ever tells you that 'kilowatts' can leak out of your 'electric meter' and kill your flower bed ... don't believe them !!
Also, owning local Utility (dividend paying) Stock can be thought of as a 'discount' on your electric bill :-)
...... you're welcome (in advance :-) .........
There are 2 issues here.
The request to conserve power was mainly because of a shortage in available generation to meet the peak demand. When demand from customers is as high as it was during the recent polar vortex, if not enough generation is online to meet that demand, voltage across the grid will go down below the min and the grid will start to shut itself down if the grid operator doesn't start shedding load themselves. Many Grid operators exceeded their previous winter peaks which definitely stressed the system. No electric company is building generation right now because of inadequate compensation for that new generation. And that compensation amount is set through a flawed bidding process run by the Grid Operator.
Also, improvements to the grid are definitely needed and will help with min generation problems. AEP is currently spending billions to improve the grid but each project must be approved by FERC before starting. I agree that we should all be concerned about our existing energy grid but we should more concerned by the lack of generation available to replace the coal generation scheduled to be shut down by the new EPA regulations in 2015.