Sizzling! City hits new peak of electricity use

DEIDRE CRUSE, Governmental Reporter

With temperatures in the upper 90s and the heat index soaring as high as 100 degrees, the City of Plaquemine on Sunday hit a new peak of electrical use – 25 megawatts – before a shower offered some relief.

“It shows that there's a lotta, lotta consumption going on,” Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta said in reporting the new number. When temperatures go above 95 degrees, air conditioners have to work a lot harder, he said.

The previous peak use was 24.7 megawatts.

Like local businesses, the city has to pay a “demand” charge to have the peak amount available at any given time. City Light & Water won't know what the additional cost might be until the bill comes in at the end of the month.

The good news, the mayor said, is that the price of electricity has remained reasonable this summer. He said the price of natural gas, used to produce electricity, have been low, in the range of $4 per thousand cubic feet. That is less than half the price it has been in past summers.

“There is no problem with the price, but consumption has been really, really high,” Gulotta said.