Summer heat sets new record for electricity

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How hot has it been this summer? Hot enough for consumers in the 13-state PJM Interconnection region to set a new record for electricity consumption for June and July.

Consumers, including Virginia residents, used 16 percent more electricity compared to the same time last year, according to PJM, the regional organization that operates the transmission grid for a geographic area serving 51 million people.

The amount of electricity used in June, 63.9 million megawatt hours (MWh), was enough to power Switzerland for a full year. Last year’s total for June was 63.2 million MWh. Electricity consumption for July hit 71.7 million MWh, surpassing the previous record for July of 70.4 million set in 2006.

“The higher electricity loads we’re seeing are definitely because of the weather,” said Michael Kormos, PJM senior vice president.  Virginia has seen many days of 100-degree temperatures this summer.

So far this year, the peak demand for electricity in the PJM region was 136,680 MWh on July 6. The all-time record peak demand was 144,644 MWh, set on Aug. 2, 2006. 

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