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Rochester, NY, June 13, 2008 – The one-two punch of blistering heat and unbearable humidity on Monday drove up demand for electricity to near-record levels across the NYSEG and RG&E service areas, according to preliminary numbers compiled by the companies.

“The heat and the resulting extraordinary demand for electricity provided a real test for us,” said Mike Conroy, vice president - operations at NYSEG and RG&E.  

NYSEG’s peak load on Monday was 3,099 megawatts (preliminary). The all-time record peak for NYSEG is 3,299 megawatts set on August 2, 2006. 

RG&E’s peak load on Monday was 1,631 megawatts (preliminary). The all-time record peak for RG&E is 1,744 megawatts set on August 1, 2006. 

The peak load for the entire state on Monday was 32,432 megawatts compared to the all-time record peak of 33,939 megawatts set on August 2, 2006.  

“Peak load” is defined as the highest level of collective customer demand for electricity. The peak load is most often stated in megawatts. One megawatt of electricity is enough to power approximately 700 homes.

“What is extremely unusual about the peak demand numbers we saw on Monday is that they occurred in early June,” Conroy said. “Historically, we are accustomed to seeing these high demand numbers in August during the dog days of summer.” 

The biggest hurdle to meeting the demand challenges posed on Monday was in the central Southern Tier as the result of a high-voltage, bulk-power transformer that is out of service in the Elmira area. “Thanks to the cooperation of our customers who conserved energy and our employees who have done yeoman’s duty in responding to the loss of the transformer, we survived the first blast of hot weather with few problems,” Conroy said.

Aside from the challenge in the Southern Tier, the extremely high demand for electricity on Monday put considerable stress on NYSEG’s and RG&E’s electricity delivery systems as well as other utilities’ systems throughout the region. “As demand continues to grow, it is critical that we continue to invest in the system,” Conroy said.

NYSEG and RG&E are making significant capital investments to upgrade electricity delivery systems and the companies will need to continue to make these investments for years to come to keep pace with rising demand and increasing customer expectations.
 As the summer progresses, Conroy said it is important that NYSEG and RG&E customers conserve energy, particularly during unusually hot, humid weather. “The wise use of electricity by our customers reduces stress on our delivery systems and helps enable us to continue to provide the outstanding reliability our customers expect and deserve,” Conroy said.
About NYSEG and RG&E: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Energy East Corporation [NYSE:EAS], a super-regional energy services and delivery company in the Northeast. NYSEG serves 872,000 electricity customers and 256,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 360,000 electricity customers and 297,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. By providing outstanding customer service and meeting customers’ energy requirements in an environmentally-responsible manner, NYSEG and RG&E will continue to be valuable assets to the communities they serve. For more information, visit nyseg.com and rge.com.