BC Hydro says energy usage broke an August record this week, as British Columbians attempted to stay cool during a scorching heat wave.
On Monday, BC Hydro says the province set a new record for the highest peak hourly demand seen during any month of August in the company’s history.
Power consumption reached more than 8,400 megawatts on Monday night, according to BC Hydro. Generally, heat waves increase power usage by about 1,000 megawatts compared to seasonal averages, or the equivalent of turning on one-million portable AC units.
While British Columbians set a new energy record this week, BC Hydro says it’s well-equipped to manage the heat wave.
The surge in energy use is still below what B.C. sees during the winter months, when people are heating and lighting their homes.
“While the demand on the electricity system will be higher, it is about three-quarters of winter peak loads,” said BC Hydro in a release Tuesday.
Environment Canada says more than a dozen daily heat records were set on Tuesday, including 37.5 C in Port Alberni, breaking a benchmark set in 1933, and 30.6 C at Yoho National Park, surpassing a 1930 mark.
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The 10 hottest communities in Canada were all located in British Columbia on Monday and forecasters expected the sizzling temperatures to continue for at least a few more days.
Heat warnings remain in place for Greater Victoria, East Vancouver Island and Inland Vancouver Island Wednesday.
Environment Canada says temperatures are expected to start dropping slightly starting Thursday.
BC Hydro tips
BC Hydro is offering a few tips on how to keep your home cool during heat waves.
It recommends keeping blinds and drapes closed, shutting doors and windows if the temperature outside is warmer than inside, and using a fan.
The company also encourages residents to consider purchasing a heat pump if possible, which it says is more energy efficient than using multiple portable AC units.
With files from the Canadian Press