BC Hydro survey shows changes to daily routines and power usage

BC Hydro survey shows changes to daily routines and power usage
WatchAccording to a new BC Hydro report, the pandemic resulted in weekday shifts of electricity use so it peaks later in the day. As Mary Griffin reports, the report also highlights that our weekday routines now more closely resemble weekend patterns.

The changes are obvious; sidewalks are busier, and the shops are opening. But 40 per cent of British Columbians are still working from home, five days a week.

According to a new report from BC Hydro, the pandemic is changing how we live.  BC Hydro spokesperson for Vancouver Island Ted Olynyk said it is impacting every aspect of daily life.

“Turns out 90 per cent of British Columbians have adjusted their schedules and usage under this pandemic period,” Olynyk said.

Olynyk said nearly 40 per cent of British Columbians are waking up later on weekday and eating later. And personal grooming habits are different.

“They are not showering as much. Twenty-four percent are showering less than they normally would. And they are showering a lot quicker. So a little bit surprise there. We’re all different I guess. You don’t have to go into the office or do what you need to do and why bother, for some,” Olynyk said.

“I’m not surprised. That makes sense to me, said Dr. Robert Gifford, a professor of environmental psychology at the University of Victoria.

He said the pandemic resulted in a change in how we live, in behaviour, that is likely to stay. And there is a silver lining.

“I think there are other changes that people are engaged with. Talking to family and friends more. Mixing work with daily life more. Interacting with their children more. And so it’s part of a general pattern. It’s not just about energy use and hydro,” Gifford said.

With so many people at home, the weekday is starting to look like the weekend.

“Later starts in the morning, and cooking earlier. Imagine people are at home, rather than coming in five minutes before dinner time and sticking something into the microwave to defrost. There is a lot more menu planning going into it,” Olynyk said.

As for the future, prepare for your hydro usage to go up.  When the fall comes and the temperature drops, the heat will go on.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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