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Heat wave pushes power usage to peak levels

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Tuesday marks the second day of a heat wave sweeping the province, and the temperature surge means a higher demand for electricity as many seek to stay cool.

The province's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), which manages the electricity grid in Ontario, said megawatt usage is hitting peak levels.

"We are getting close to some pretty high demand," said Elinor D'Cunha with IESO. "For today, we are forecasting over 23,000. For tomorrow, it's going to go over 24,000, so those are some of the higher demands that we see."

Environment Canada expects the heat wave to last all week, with daytime highs hitting 40 to 45C with the humidex.

"It's unusual to have it [the heat wave] away from the dog days of summer. A month from now, in early August, it would just be kind of run-of-the-mill," said the national weather agency's senior climatologist David Phillips.

The weather expert noted these conditions can be potentially dangerous.

"It's going to affect hospital admissions. People are just going to feel under the weather because they're not used to it," Phillips explained.

The IESO said its current electricity supply is adequate to meet demand but encourages people to reduce their usage, especially during peak times, such as unplugging electronics that aren't in use, turning lights off during daylight hours, and hanging clothes rather than using the dryer.

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