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ComEd, PECO Set New Winter Peak Demand Records

Exelon's two utility subsidiaries, Commonwealth Edison in Chicago and Philadelphia-based PECO, reported record winter peak power demand Monday because of extremely cold temperatures and customer growth.

Demand for electricity in ComEd's territory reached a winter record of 16,207 MW between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday when temperatures hit a low of minus nine degrees and a high of six degrees. The new mark eclipses the previous winter peak of 16,081 MW reached Dec. 19, 2005. The utility's all-time peak demand of 23,613 MW was recorded on Aug. 1, 2006. In addition to the cold temperatures, ComEd noted that it has experienced steady customer growth in its territory, which includes 5.2 million customers.

PECO, which serves 1.6 million power customers, also set a new winter peak of 6,852 MW on Monday when temperatures in Philadelphia hit a low of 10 degrees and a high of 19. PECO also said that gas demand on its system Monday was the fifth highest on record at 678 MMcf. Gas usage was the highest since December 2004 and was up about 16% from levels on Sunday. PECO's all-time record for gas demand was set on Jan. 17, 2000 when a sustained cold snap sent usage up to 718.4 MMcf.

Slightly warmer temperatures reduced power demand Tuesday to 15,800 MW in ComEd's territory and to 6,692 MW in PECO's territory, and similar demand numbers were expected on Wednesday. Temperatures were expected to reach a high of 16 Wednesday in Chicago with a low of four degrees. In Philadelphia, the low and high were expected to be 14 and 26 degrees respectively, still well below averages for this time of year.

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