The paper addresses the problem of predicting hourly load demand using adaptive artificial neural networks (ANNs). A particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm is employed to adjust the network's weights in the training phase of the ANNs. The advantage of using a PSO algorithm over other conventional training algorithms such as the back-propagation (BP) is that potential solutions will be flown through the problem hyperspace with accelerated movement towards the best solution. Thus the training phase should result in obtaining the weights configuration associated with the minimum output error. Data are wavelet transformed during the preprocessing stage and then inserted into the neural network to extract redundant information from the load curve. This results in better load characterization which creates a more reliable forecasting model. The transformed data of historical load and weather information were trained and tested over various periods of time. The generalized error estimation is done by using the reverse part of the data as a ldquotestrdquo set. The results were compared with traditional BP algorithm and offered a high forecasting precision.