North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives Experience Peak Megawatts, Urge Consumers to Continue Conservation Efforts

Raleigh, N.C. —For North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, the increased energy use caused by the weeklong heat wave resulted in an all-time peak of 2,967 megawatts on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The previous peak was established on January 19, 2005 when a cold snap caused energy use to jump to 2,896 megawatts.

With triple digits forecasted for today, the state’s electric cooperatives are expecting another record peak. “We are urging members to do everything they can to conserve energy today,” said Jane Pritchard, director of corporate communications for North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC). “We truly appreciate all of the conservation efforts our members made yesterday and will make today.” Pritchard continued.

You can help reduce energy demand by turning off or adjusting the following:

  • Unnecessary lights
  • Stereos, VCRs/DVD players, televisions (use a battery-powered radio to get information)
  • Electric range and oven
  • Dishwashers, washing machines and dryers (postpone use until heat wave is over)
  • Personal computers
  • Air conditioners (turn them off, or raise your thermostat to the highest comfortable setting)

NCEMC, the power supplier for the state’s electric cooperatives, has implemented conservation measures in its office. Lights and unnecessary electronic equipment are turned off, blinds are closed and thermostats have been raised by several degrees. NCEMC also plans to run on-site, back-up generators during times of peak-use today. The generators normally run only during power outages.

NCEMC is continuously monitoring demand on generation resources and will run all available generation during peak-use hours today. NCEMC’s peaking generation plants include two diesel plants located at the Outer Banks and a new natural gas facility in Anson County.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of 100 counties, primarily in rural parts of the state. The electric cooperatives own and maintain 95,000 miles of power lines, by far the most of any electric utility in North Carolina.