Electricity usage hits record high amid scorching Arizona heat wave

PHOENIX -- Arizona Public Service Company (APS), the state's largest electricity provider, says customers set a record peak usage Tuesday as temperatures in Phoenix soared to nearly 120 degrees

Over 7,300 megawatts of energy were consumed between 5 and 6 p.m., topping the prior 11-year record set in 2006.

"When temperatures spike, our customers use more power, and it's our job to make sure we manage the demand placed on the system," said Daniel Froetscher, an APS senior vice president, said in a statement. 

The company serves 2.7 million people in 11 of 15 counties in Arizona.

Phoenix hit a high of 119 Tuesday as an extreme heat wave continued in the Southwest. The city opened dozens of cooling centers and flights were canceled because of the heat.

The area is looking at breaking another temperature record Wednesday with an expected 117 degrees for a high. 

Authorities say people should avoid the outdoors and be in air-conditioned buildings during the heat wave.

"Your house stays hot, buildings stay hot. The sidewalk stays hot. So there's no reprieve, basically," director of emergency management, Lisa Jones, told CBS News on Tuesday.   

Death Valley, California, reached 127 Tuesday and Palm Springs hit 122, tying the degree for the same day last year.