Philadelphia area electric utilities, responding to the hot weather, say they plan to cycle the home air-conditioning systems today of customers who volunteered for a special conservation program.

Peco Energy Co. said it plans to curtail electrical power to the air-conditioners of 87,000 customers between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. today during a period of peak demand on the regional electrical grid. Customers who signed up for its Smart A/C Saver program agreed to allow the utility to shut down the compressors of their air-conditioners for 15 minutes every half hour during a conservation event. Peco declared a similar event Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., said Catherine Engel-Menendez, Peco's spokeswoman.

Atlantic City Electric, which has 25,000 customers enrolled in its Energy Wise Rewards program, say it plan to curtail air-conditioner use from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday. The homes of customers in the program might experience a 1 to 3 degree increase in temperature during the event.