Recession hits U.S. power generation

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- The nation's economic decline led to the biggest drop in electric output since 1938, according to an industry trade group.

A new report released Tuesday from the Edison Electric Institute says output fell by 3.7% for its second year of declines in a row.

The group said the fall was triggered by the recession and cooler summer temperatures, which were more than 20% lower than normal in many parts of the country.

The report showed that the industry provided just 3.9 million gigawatthours of electricity to the continental United States, the lowest amount since 2004. The highest weekly output during the year was just 88,713 GWh, which is 10% less than the all-time record high of 98,583 GWh set in August 2006.

While electric output levels fell across the nation, they decreased the most in the Central Industrial and West Central regions, by 6.0% and 5.4% respectively. The South Central Region showed the smallest drop, by 1.1%. To top of page

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