The Omaha Public Power District set a record for electric usage last week when temperatures exceeded triple digits.
At about 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, the utility reached a peak usage of 2,540 megawatts, based on preliminary figures. The high that day reached 101 degrees in Omaha and peaked at similar levels across the utility's 13-county service territory.
Jodi Baker, spokeswoman for the utility, said peak usage typically occurs between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. This is when outside temperatures are their highest and air conditioners go into overdrive in response to temperatures and families lowering thermostats as they arrive home.
The utility's previous peak was 2,499.9 megawatts set on July 29, 2021. Before last year, the previous peak occurred 10 years earlier in 2011 at 2468.3 megawatts.
Even though demand has reached record levels, OPPD anticipates being able to meet electrical demand this summer, Baker said. Likewise, the Southwest Power Pool, the regional entity that manages the electrical grid across 17 states, has said it anticipates being able to meet demand.
OPPD has incentives in place for customers to voluntarily lower demand during particularly hot weather. Major industrial customers and some residential customers participate in programs with OPPD to cut back use. Residents can receive an annual $20 bill credit for allowing OPPD to remotely cycle their air conditioner on and off.