The New York Independent System Operator has predicted that sustained high temperatures forecasted for this week could push electricity demand in New York state to near-record levels.

And it could initiate demand response programmes today for the second day in a row as temperatures hit blistering levels.

Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist at weather forecaster AccuWeather.com said: “Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the northeast. The region will be a virtual sauna bath. High daytime and night-time temperatures, high humidity, intense sunshine and lack of wind will make the area seem like the middle of the tropics.”

Temperatures in New York reached 94 degrees F (34 C) yesterday and are expected to hit 95 F today, tomorrow and Thursday, and 94 on Friday,  according to AccuWeather.com.

Peak demand for today is expected to reach 33,300 MW – New York state’s record peak demand was 33,939 MW in August 2006.

To help manage demand on the system, the NYISO yesterday activated demand response programmes. There are more than 1250 MW of demand response programmes statewide under which consumers reduce their usage.

Customers are compensated for cutting back on electricity use and, if available, running on-site generators to reduce the amount of power needed from the grid.

“While New York currently has sufficient resources to meet the higher demand for electricity, it is important for all electricity consumers to follow the conservation advice of their local utility,” said NYISO president Stephen Whitley.