RALEIGH, N.C. — Whether you’re cooling off in the air conditioning or spending time at the pool, finding ways to beat the heat often involves electricity. Duke Energy says North Carolinians set a record this week for most electricity used in a summer day.

What You Need To Know

  • On Monday, North Carolinians used more electricity than any other day in history during summertime

  • The previous record was set in July 2016

  • Cooling is typically the largest energy usage in a home, accounting for as much as 50% of the total

North Carolinians on Monday used more electricity than any other day in history during summertime, Duke Energy said. The previous record was set in 2016.

The new summer peak usage record is 21,086 megawatt-hours of electricity, exceeding the previous summertime record of 20,671 megawatt-hours, set on July 27, 2016. The all-time Duke Energy Carolinas record, covering both summer and winter seasons, remains 21,620 megawatt-hours, set on January 5, 2018. Duke Energy Carolinas serves customers in central and western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina.

Duke Energy Progress did not achieve a usage record. Duke Energy Progress is the company’s other Carolinas utility, which serves the Asheville area, Raleigh and large portions of eastern North Carolina and Pee Dee South Carolina.

But the two utilities achieved a new combined summer peak usage record of 34,079 megawatt-hours of electricity consumption on Monday. The new combined peak replaces the previous record of 33,631 megawatt-hours, set on July 20, 2020.

Jeff Brooks, a spokesperson for Duke Energy, says the state’s growing population and the summer heat really put electric grids to the test so power companies are trying to get ahead of the future demand.

“Recognizing that we’re a growing state, it’s really important as your local utility that we look ahead and look for ways to improve the grid, to expand our power generation, to look to add more renewables where we can to our existing generation fleet and make sure that we’re ready when those high temperatures come, and these peaks tell us they’re going to keep coming for a while,” Brooks said.

“We set records periodically. They don’t happen all the time. I think this last one succeeded a record that was from 2016 so it’s been a few years since we’ve had a summer peak in this area. Typically we see our highest usage in the winter in North Carolina. We’ve seen this trend and we’re going to see very high temperatures next week, so it’s possible that we could see another record set in that time period,” Brooks said.

Duke Energy says cooling is typically the largest energy usage in a home, as much as 50% of the total.

Brooks says there are simple changes you can make to keep your bill manageable: turn your thermostat up three or four degrees, make sure air filters are clean, use a ceiling fan and close blinds on the sunny side of your house.

If you have Duke Energy, you can use the app or log in to your account to see data on when you’re using the most electricity and adjust your behaviors based off that information.