Heat wave could spur record electricity useby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesotans are cranking up their air conditioners this week as temperatures hit the triple digits.
The heat wave could help set a new record for electricity use in the state, according to Xcel Energy spokesman Steve Rolstad.
The current peak usage record of 9,131 megawatts was set last summer. Rolstad said average demand in the summer ranges from 7,000 to 8,500 megawatts. Monday's numbers aren't yet available, but Rolstad thinks the record could be broken either today or Tuesday.
So far, power outages have not been widespread. Xcel crews were called to respond to about 8,000 outages Monday. Rolstad said crews have been able to restore power quickly to most customers.
"Our system is holding up and doing very well," he said. "We certainly have enough supply to meet the demand."
Customers can conserve energy by closing curtains and shades to keep indoor areas cool and by running dishwashers and washing machines overnight instead of during the peak hours of the day, Rolstad said.