Bitterly cold weather is expected to push gas and electricity consumption to new record highs.

French electricity consumption was expected to reach a peak of 97000 MW on Thursday, eclipsing the previous electricity consumption record set in Dec. 2010, when it reached 96710 MW.

The surge in electricity demand in France is due to the fact many households use electric heating systems.

Two unplanned outages this week further tightened supply margins. A 260 MW hydroelectric power plant in Le Cheylas in southeastern France unexpectedly stopped as did a coal-fired 250 MW power plant in Bouchain in northern France.

Reuters reports that France’s gas transport network GRTGaz said it expected gas consumption on Thursday to reach 3158 gigawatt hours, beating the previous record of 3,037 GWh reached in January 2010.

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