New record set – again – for electricity use in summer

PGE customers use 3,976 MW on Aug. 3, beating the previous day’s record

Aug. 4, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. — PGE customers have set a new summer record for energy demand. The new mark is 3,976 megawatts (MW) net system load, set on Aug. 3 at 6 p.m. At the time it was 105 degrees at Portland International Airport.

The all-time winter peak of 4,073 MW net system load was set on Dec. 21, 1998. The low temperature at PDX that day was 16 degrees F.

This summer’s pair of new records still falls short of that historic wintertime mark, but they’re getting closer – within 3 percent. Traditionally, PGE customers have used more electricity during the winter than in the summer, although that appears to be shifting.

More PGE customers now have air conditioning than in the past. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 70 percent of homes in our area have air conditioning. Today there are more cooling-technology choices, including heat pumps, whole-house air conditioning units, newer portable air conditioners and window units. Fans of all sizes come into play as well, adding load to the system.

PGE thanks our customers who participate in optional programs that either generate power on-site or reduce power use. They helped our community through the past two days of extreme heat and high demand for electricity. As an example, more than 17 MW of power is now available to PGE through optional demand-reduction programs, where customers receive financial incentives for lowering their use. Information and an educational video on PGE demand response programs are available at

About Portland General Electric Company
Portland General Electric (NYSE: POR) is a fully integrated energy company based in Portland, Oregon, serving approximately 887,000 customers in 51 cities. For more than 130 years, PGE has been delivering safe, affordable and reliable energy to Oregonians. Together with its customers, PGE has the No. 1 voluntary renewable energy program in the U.S. With approximately 3,000 employees across the state, PGE is committed to helping its customers and the communities it serves build a clean energy future. For more information, visit

For more information contact: Stan Sittser, PGE, 503-464-8271,