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Con Ed Customers Drive Power Consumption to Two-Month Record

Con Edison of New York (Con Ed) said Thursday that its customers set a record for power consumption in July and August, using 13.29 million MW hours to run homes and businesses.

The previous record for usage in a two-month period, Con Ed said, was set in July and August 2010 when customers used 13.26 million MW hours. The company provides electric, natural gas and steam services to 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County, where other records were set last month.

Demand reached 11,855 MW at 4 p.m. EDT on Aug. 13, which Con Ed said was a new high for a weekend day. At 6 p.m. EDT on Aug. 14, demand hit 11,669 MW, a new record for a Sunday.

The records set in New York and elsewhere across the country this summer come as natural gas for electricity generation is on the rise. The Energy Information Administration said last month that electricity generated using gas reached a record high in July (see Daily GPIAug. 10). The agency expects natural gas to fuel 34% of generation this year, compared to 33% in 2015. Coal is expected to be used for 30% of power generation, down from 33% last year.

It's been a banner year for natural gas consumption for power generation, so far outpacing 2015, which was also a record-breaking year. While the futures strip has been tempered by firming production and bulging inventories, power burn helped to drive up natural gas prices over the summer (see Daily GPISept. 7).

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the grid in most of the state, said last month that power demand topped previous records on Aug. 10, hitting 70,572 MW between 4 and 5 p.m. CDT (see Daily GPI,Aug. 11). The records and more natural gas for electricity have been driven by warmer-than-normal temperatures across much of the country this summer.

Con Ed said it invested $1.6 billion in its electric delivery systems to prepare for summer 2016, adding that it has invested about $1 billion each year since 2005. That money, the company said, goes toward cables, transformers, switches and a variety of other equipment that helps to make its system more reliable for peak demand.

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