TAMPA, Fla. – For the second day in a row, Tampa Electric Co. on Wednesday set a record for summer electricity use as customers deal with stifling heat.
At 5:37 p.m. Wednesday, Tampa Electric customers used 4,754 megawatts of electricity, the highest amount used at one time, the utility said Thursday.
The 4,754 megawatts topped a record of 4,640 megawatts set Tuesday. Tampa Electric said it will not disconnect customers because of unpaid bills through at least Aug. 20, as residents run air conditioners to combat the heat.
In the news: Heat Drives Electricity Record At Tampa Electric
“We remain concerned about the impact this heat is having on the comfort and safety of our customers,” Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric, said in a statement Thursday.
The heatwave is being caused by a combination of factors, including a strong La Niña event, which is causing warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
This is causing the jet stream to dip southward, bringing hot air from the desert southwest into the United States.
The heatwave is having a devastating impact on people and wildlife. In the United States, there have been dozens of heat-related deaths, and thousands of people have been hospitalized.
The heatwave is also causing power outages, water shortages, and crop failures. In India, the heatwave has caused widespread crop damage, and there are concerns about food shortages.
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