POSTED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 11:14am
Longview, TX — This past week’s arctic blast drove temperatures so low that AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co. hit a record winter customer load of more than 16 percent above what the company had projected, officials said.
“We’re a summer peaking utility,” said SWEPCO spokesman Scott McCloud, citing the company serves western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana and East Texas, which experience summer temperatures that often reach into the triple digits. “So we really monitor it more in the summer. That’s where our demand is highest, mainly due to air conditioners.”
However, he said, the polar vortex that swept through much of the country earlier this month turned the tables.
At 8 a.m. Jan. 7, SWEPCO customers used 4,892 megawatts of electricity, McCloud said in a statement. The average temperature across the company’s three-state service area was 26 degrees at that date and time, McCloud said.
The company’s previous winter demand record was Feb. 2, 2011, when customers used 4,823 megawatts. One million watts make up a megawatt.
Read more  from the Longview News-Journal.