Aug 10, 2012
July was the warmest on record in the contiguous U.S. since recordkeeping began in 1895, but the sizzling temperatures did not translate into any monthly consumption records for PPL Electric Utilities customers.
It came close, however.
PPL Electric Utilities customers used 3.75 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity during the month, just short of the all-time summer high of 3.82 billion kilowatt-hours set in July 2011. The total put the month fifth among the top highest summer months. The all-time high for any month came in January 2009 with 4.24 billion kilowatt-hours.
The northeast U.S., including Pennsylvania, had its seventh warmest July, according to federal weather statistics. For Harrisburg, last month tied with July 2010 as the fifth warmest on record, tying a record high of 101 set back in 1988. Williamsport had its seventh warmest July on record with a record high of 97 on July 17.
Daily peaks also fell short of existing records. The highest for the month came on July 18, when demand hit 7,182 megawatts at 2 p.m. The day was on target to potentially break the existing record. However, peak load reduction programs, coupled with storms that moved through the region, kept demand lower. The existing summer peak demand record is 7,554 megawatts, set in August 2006.
Other high-demand days in July included July 17 with 6,958 megawatts at 6 p.m. and July 24 with 6,818 megawatts at 2 p.m.
“Our system held up very well under the demand and that’s a testament to the continuing emphasis on system maintenance and improvements,” said Dave Bonenberger, vice president of Distribution Operations. “The hot, humid conditions also brought some destructive thunderstorms, including some near the end of the month that affected about 90,000 customers. Without the ongoing attention to infrastructure, these outages could potentially have been more severe.”
Extreme heat or cold also can drive up electric bills. PPL Electric Utilities reminds its customers that there are options to help them manage those costs, including signing up for budget billing. Other programs, some of which have income limits, also are available. Visit www.pplelectric.com/billhelp for more information or call 1-800-342-5775.
PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in central and eastern Pennsylvania and consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.