Cold weather causes increased electricity demand

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(Host) Vermont utilities say there’s been a near record seasonal demand for electricity due to this month’s cold weather. Utility officials say the combination of shorter days and frigid temperatures keeps people home. With furnaces running more and increased use of lights and space heaters, electricity demand has been rising.

Steve Costello of Central Vermont Public service says while no records have been set, power usage has increased with each successive cold snap.

(Costello) “What we have seen is a continued high use of energy from the cold weather and each day that this goes on, during each little cold snap, or mini-cold snap, we’re seeing a continued progression in the amount of energy people are using.”

(Host) Costello says Vermont utilities have been able to rely on power from long-term contracts and haven’t had to buy electricity on the more expensive spot market. He says peak demand in the winter is about 20% lower than peak summer demand.

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