February brought the first real cold snap of the year to the province. BC Hydro says the chilly weather has made a lot of British Columbians turn up their thermostats higher than usual.
BC Hydro says the province’s electricity demand increased by an average of 13 per cent on February 3 and 4 compared to the same days last week.
“With colder than normal temperatures over the coming days, the demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week and BC Hydro is preparing for near-record breaking loads,” said the company in a release.
They’re forecasting peak demands per hour of up to 10,000 megawatts.
The highest hourly peak demand was recorded on January 3, 2017 when consumption reached 10,194 megawatts.
BC Hydro says generally over the winter, demand is highest for electricity between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekday evenings as people come home, and turn on the switches.
Typically that’s when British Columbians turn up the heat, switch on the lights and make dinner, and use the most amount of energy in their homes.
To help save energy BC Hydro is recommending:
- Keeping thermostats at a level of 16 degrees C when away from home or sleeping, 17 degrees C when cooking or doing housework and 21 degrees C when relaxing at home.
- Installing draftproofing by covering cracks and gaps around doors and windows. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to cut energy costs in the home, whether you live in a house or an apartment. It can reduce heat loss by up to 10 per cent.
- Close curtains blinds and drapes to provide extra insulation and reduce drafts from entering the home through windows.