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Duke Energy customers set record in heat wave

Duke Energy Carolinas customers cranked up the cooling units during last week’s heat.
Duke Energy Carolinas customers cranked up the cooling units during last week’s heat. TNS

Duke Energy customers in the Carolinas used a summer-record amount of electricity to cool off during last week’s heat wave.

Customers of Duke Energy Carolinas, which serves Charlotte and the western Carolinas, used 20,671 megawatt-hours of electricity between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. last Wednesday. That barely edged the record set in 2007.

Charlotte’s temperature reached 99 degrees that day, 10 degrees hotter than normal, a few minutes before the record-setting hour began.

Demand for electricity typically spikes late in the afternoon of hot summer days, as air conditioning units surge. But Duke Carolinas’ all-time record of more than 21,000 megawatt-hours was set on a cold February morning in 2015.

For July, Charlotte’s average temperature was 4.3 degrees warmer than normal, the National Weather Service reports. Highs topped 90 degrees on 29 days.

“We have sufficient supplies of electricity to meet our customers’ needs, and our technicians are working around the clock to ensure smooth operations at our power plants and along our power lines,” said Nelson Peeler, a Duke Energy vice president, said in a statement.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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