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Pepco Customers Set New Peak Demand for Power; Record Falls as Heat, Humidity Drives up Use

Washington, D.C. -- Pepco, power supplier to the national capital area, set an unofficial new peak demand for electricity use today as customers relied on air conditioning to cope with the soaring heat and humidity.

The previous peak of 6,725 megawatts set July 27, 2005 fell at the 2 p.m. hour today as power usage continued climbing through the afternoon.  The new, unofficial peak total is 6,858 megawatts.  One megawatt of electricity is enough to power 800-1,000 homes. The new peak won't be determined official until later in the week, but in the meantime, it likely will be overtaken each day this week until the hot spell is broken.

With heat indexes over the 100 degree mark, air conditioners pushed up power demand by continuously running to keep residences and businesses comfortable.  While power supply is adequate, Pepco has continued to ask customers to use energy wisely, especially during peak usage hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Pepco offers the following conservation tips:

  • Close curtains and blinds to keep out the sun and retain cooler air inside your home, apartment or business.
  • Postpone using major heat-producing appliances like electric stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until the evening hours; if possible, delay using them until the extreme heat subsides.
  • Set your air-conditioner thermostat higher than usual if health permits.
  • Turn off non-essential lights, appliances and equipment. This is especially important for business customers of all types.

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Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 745,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

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