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NYC Heat Wave Prompts Record Electricity Use

By: Andrea Thompson |

In the midst of a July Fourth holiday weekend heat wave, New York City set a record for Sunday electricity use, as overheated New Yorkers sought relief with their air conditioners.

Actual temperatures reached into the mid-90s Fahrenheit (mid-30s Celsius), with the heat index reaching a whopping 105 F (40 C). As the heat rose, air conditioners were cranked up, and Con Edison reported a Sunday electricity use record of 11,241 megawatts (MW) at 6 p.m. That consumption milestone replaced the previous record of 10,866 MW set on August 14, 2005, according to a Con Ed release. The all-time record of 13,189 MW was set on Friday, July 22, 2011, at 4 p.m.

The heat wave in the East followed a similar heat wave out west last month, which resulted in the hottest June day ever recorded in the United States, with the mercury rising to 129 F (54 C) in Death Valley in California. That heat wave exacerbated dangerous wildfire conditions in the region.