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Puget Sound Energy says region set new record for electrical demands

Puget Sound Energy says the region set a new record for demand on the natural gas and electrical systems on Friday.

A faulty fiber optic cable temporarily took down one of its gas storage facilities in Chehalis on Saturday afternoon.

“But, it’s important to note that the plant was coming on throughout the afternoon, and during that time, it was running between 50-70% of its width capacity,” said Puget Sound Energy’s Communications Director, Christina Donegan.

With the state pushing through a cold snap, PSE has asked its customers to conserve electricity because the frigid temperatures are straining electricity resources around the region.

PSE suggests customers reduce their usage, even if it’s just turning down the thermostat one or two degrees from ordinary. The energy company stated that making small changes “reduces the strain on the grid and the amount of resources needed to serve customers.”

According to PSE, the company is a “winter peaking utility.” Natural gas and electric systems set new records for demand on Friday and Saturday loads, roughly the same as their previous highs.

“The prior natural gas record was December of 2022; the prior electric record was December of 2009,” said Gerald Tracy, spokesperson for Puget Sound Energy.

Puget Sound Energy told KIRO 7 that they do long-range planning often to determine what investments are needed to improve the grid.