SC utility sets record for cold weather usage

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP/WCSC) - South Carolina's state-owned electric utility says it's set a peak usage record during the blast of cold weather that's chilled the Southeast.

Santee Cooper said it set a peak record of 5,743 megawatts between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

That tops the previous record, set in January of this year, by more than 1,000 megawatts. Santee Cooper says that timeframe is typically a busy usage time, and the cold temperatures meant even more of a draw on the system.

South Carolina has seen temperatures dipping into the teens and low 20s during a recent blast of winter weather boosted by a Canadian high pressure system.

SCE&G is not at peak demand. Officials say they usually have peak in the summer with higher air conditioner usage. Many of their customers use natural gas during the winter.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press and WCSC. All rights reserved.