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Utahns Using More Electricity to Beat the Heat

Utahns Using More Electricity to Beat the Heat



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Amanda Butterfield Whether it's us or our food, over half the energy the average Utahn uses is to keep things cool.

In Utah, almost 30 percent of electrical usage goes toward air conditioning. About 21 percent goes to refrigeration, and lighting rounds out the top three at 14 percent.

According to Jeff Hymas, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power, the company hit a new record demand for electricity use this summer.

Utahns Using More Electricity to Beat the Heat

Hymas said, "Most people are using central air conditioning, which really drives electricity use up."

Customer demand for electricity is growing by about two to three percent a year. Peak usage times, like summer days in the afternoons, are growing by five percent a year, so Rocky Mountain Power has to adjust every year to accommodate the aggressive growth. This year it added 70 megawatts of capacity to its distribution center.

Jeff Hymas, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power
Jeff Hymas, spokesman for Rocky Mountain Power

Even with record-breaking heat this summer, Rocky Mountain Power hasn't had any major outages or problems meeting demands for electricity.

Starting this month it's already preparing for the summer of 2008 by looking into where more electricity will be needed and planning accordingly.

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