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Voluntary restrictions on the use of electricity this winter are being urged on the residents of the Village of Wellsville.

"We are in the season of peak electric use," said Robert Chaffee, public works director. "And when we go over our allotted hydropower amount for a 15-minute period, it sets our rates for the whole next year."

Wellsville is one of 14 Western New York municipalities that operate their own electric power services with inexpensive hydroelectric power from the New York State Power Authority.

If the village exceeds its 10,500-megawatt allotment, a much higher rate is engaged for the rest of the year.

Last year the village exceeded its peak on Dec. 14.

"We're still paying for it," Chaffee said.

Residents are being asked to restrict use between 10 a.m. and noon and 5 to 7 p.m., when electric use normally is at its peak.

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