HOLYOKE, Mass. –  New England’s electric grid operator says last week’s stretch of excessive heat and humidity pushed weekend power use to an eight-year high.

ISO-New England said Monday that preliminary data show that 24,653 megawatts were used Saturday, a record for a weekend day.

The previous record was 24,065 megawatts on Aug. 13, 2005.

On Friday, demand was fourth-highest, with demand for 27,377 megawatts.

The record for electricity use was 28,130 megawatts on Aug. 2, 2006.

Spokeswoman Marcia Blomberg said ISO-New England asked businesses Friday to reduce power to help cut demand. On Friday, Portland hit a record 95 degrees for July 19. The heat index reached into the 100s.

Businesses that agree in advance to cut electricity do so when requested by the Holyoke-based power grid operator.

The call for power reduction is rare.

Blomberg said companies were asked in January, but were never called on last year.