The U.S. electric power industry has set a new record for power demand, providing 95,259 GWh for the week ending July 23 and eclipsing by 5.3% the previous record of 90,468 GWh set back in August 2002, according to the Edison Electric Institute’s weekly electric survey of demand.

As searing heat and humidity continue to blanket much of the country, electric companies across the country are pulling out all the stops to keep pace with surging demand.

“The fact that this country’s electric companies are having to run their plants full-bore to keep up with demand underscores the need for a forward-thinking comprehensive national energy policy,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “The legislation now under consideration by the Congress will help us meet the needs of tomorrow by ensuring continued electric reliability and attracting capital for much-needed new energy infrastructure.”

Power companies across the United States have been working overtime to keep the lights on and air conditioners humming, and both individual utilities as well as independent grid operators, including the California Independent System Operator (CAL-ISO), the New England ISO and the New York ISO, have set new records for electricity demand.

“As the temperature continues to creep even higher, we appreciate that consumers continue to do their part by using electricity wisely,” Kuhn said. “This is a critical component of ensuring that all Americans can rely on reliable, affordable power.”

EEI’s “Weekly Electric Output” survey, the only comprehensive report of its kind in the United States, has been measuring electricity demand for more than 70 years and is available to EEI members and other subscribers. To learn more about energy efficiency, visit www.eei.org.