With air conditioners humming across the valley and temperatures reaching record levels, total Arizona Public Service customer usage set an all-time record peak demand of about 7,350 MW of energy consumed between 5 and 6 p.m.
Wednesday’s demand easily eclipsed the 11-year-old record of 7,236 MW set in 2006.
Peak demand is the period when APS customers collectively use the most energy during the day. Typically, electricity demand increases during weeks when temperatures soar and humidity increases.
The company had forecast a 2017 summer peak load of 7,023 MW, but easily exceeded that number yesterday and today amidst a weeklong spell of temperatures ranging between 115 and 119 degrees. The amount of energy consumed by customers also exceeded last year’s peak of 7,051 MW achieved on Sunday, June 19, when temperatures rose to 118 degrees.
“When temperatures spike, our customers use more power, and it’s our job to make sure we manage the demand placed on the system,” said Daniel Froetscher, senior vice president of transmission, distribution and customers. Froetscher added that with the excessive heat baking our state, customers should take precautionary measures and use good judgment, including drinking plenty of water, knowing the warning signs of heat exhaustion and regularly checking on young children, the elderly and pets.
“The best place to be is inside with air conditioning,” he said. “If you don’t have air conditioning at home, many public places such as libraries, shopping malls and movie theatres, are all air-conditioned. We want all of our customers to stay safe and healthy, especially during this time of year.”
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal unit of Pinnacle West Capital Corp.