Duke Energy set all-time records for winter energy use this week. It’s not a distinction they were aiming for, but officials say customer cooperation helped ease the burden on the utility system.
“Despite the challenges of the extremely cold weather, our system has responded well – especially since we have broken usage marks that have stood for as long as five years,” said Nelson Peeler, vice president, system operations said in a news release.
SCE&G electric customers also set a new record for power usage in a single day, consuming 101,118 megawatt hours of electricity over the 24-hour period. The previous high mark of 98,785 megawatt hours was set Aug. 10, 2007. That is despite mechanical issues and the use of rolling blackouts to keep usage down.
Duke Energy spokesman Ryan Mosier confirmed two records for both Duke Energy companies with service in South Carolina:
- For Duke Energy Carolinas, a new winter usage peak of 20,246 megawatt-hours was set Tuesday in the hour ending at 8 a.m. That exceeded the previous winter record of 18,985 megawatt-hours set on Dec. 15, 2010.
- For Duke Energy Progress, a new winter usage peak of 14,190 megawatt-hours was set Tuesday in the hour ending at 8 a.m. That exceeded the previous winter record of 13,884 megawatt-hours set on Jan. 11, 2010.
Altogether, four Duke Energy companies set new winter peak records Tuesday.
“The extreme cold weather did challenge our system,” Mosier told South Carolina Radio Network. “But the challenge could have been much greater on the system if we continued to see the peak usage that we saw on Monday evening, going into Tuesday … It was truly critical from (customers) and the way they used energy over the last 48 hours that allowed us to make sure that the majority of our customers did not lose electricity through this extreme cold.
“We cannot offer too many thanks to our customers for their conservation efforts,” Mosier said.