The recession has triggered an ‘unprecedented’ fall in demand for electricity across Britain’s industrial and commercial markets, power station operator Drax Group has announced.

Chief executive Dorothy Thompson told Reuters the fall in power requirements had been much sharper than contraction in the broader economy.

“For our sector it’s a very unusual movement. In fact, unprecedented in my experience,” Thompson told Reuters.

Thompson said household electricity demand was currently about 6% lower than a year ago, where consumption is down by about 2%, proving more robust than industrial and commercial customers.

Drax posted a sharp fall in first half earnings due to lower power prices but said profit should rise sharply in 2010.