PSE reports record energy use during December 2009

New energy-use records were set in Western Washington as temperatures fell into the teens for several days during December.

Puget Sound Energy reported that customers broke all-time electric and natural gas-use records when freezing temperatures boosted energy consumption during the week of Dec. 7. On Dec. 11, the temperature was just 17 degrees, lower than the historical low of 19 degrees in 1919. Average temperatures for the second week of December are usually in the mid 30s to low 40s.

Electrical energy use reached a peak of 4,912 Megawatts during a one-hour period during that week, well over the normal average hourly use of 4,150 MW for December.

The use of natural gas also hit a high as customers used more than 812,813 MMBtu over a 24-hour period. The average one-day natural gas use in December is usually 500,000 MMBtus.

Points north and south within Western Washington were more extreme, with temperatures falling to 14 degrees in Centralia and 15 in Monroe.

Puget Sound Energy delivers electrical energy generated from the following resources: coal, 36 percent; hydroelectric, 41 percent; natural gas, 20 percent; nuclear, one percent; and other sources (biomass, landfill gas, petroleum, waste and wind), 2 percent.

For more information, go to