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RTE announces record electricity consumption at 7.03pm on Wednesday 26th January.

Source: RTE 27/01/2005

The record for electricity consumption in France was beaten at 7.03pm on Wednesday 26th January, with a consumption peak of 84,706 megawatts.

The previous record was 83,080 megawatts, on 8th January 2003.

The surge in consumption was mainly due to the cold snap that has hit all parts of France recently. On Wednesday evening, temperatures were around 0C, some 6 degrees below the average temperatures recorded for the time of year over the last 3 decades. Based on regularly updated studies, RTE estimates that a variation of one degree in the temperatures recorded across France causes national electricity consumption to vary by approximately 1,450 megawatts. This level of power is equivalent to the typical consumption of the entire Lyons area.

Whilst this unusually high consumption is explained by the cold weather, it is also part of a wider trend. Electricity consumption in France has been rising steadily over the last few years. In 2004, it was up by 2.2% on figures recorded for 2003, as announced by RTE on 6th January of this year. This rise in consumption is also linked to intense economic activity, another key factor in its development.

For information, the electricity consumption peak that RTE observes daily at 7.00pm is due to increased domestic consumption (heating, cooking, lighting, etc.), at a time of day when activity in the manufacturing or service sectors remains high, particularly in industry, shops and transport.

The electricity consumption curve for France can be viewed in real-time on our website: under the "Life of the Power System / Electricity Consumption" section.

RTE press contacts:

Michel Derdevet: +33 (0)141 021 973 or +33 (0)682 594 587
Thierry Lartigau: +33 (0)141 021 678 or +33 (0)623 678 393
Isabelle Coutier: +33 (0)141 021 569 or +33 (0)661 229 432