Extreme heat leads to record-breaking electricity demand for a second day in a row: BC Hydro

Extreme heat leads to record-breaking electricity demand for a second day in a row: BC Hydro
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BC Hydro says it expects the new record for peak hourly demand during the summer – the hour customers use the most electricity – set over the weekend, could be broken today as the heat wave peaks.

The Crown utility says demand on Sunday night surpassed the previous record set on Saturday — which had broken the standing record set last August.

“Preliminary analysis found consumption reached 8,106 megawatts, which was more than 100 megawatts higher than new summer record that was set on Saturday. Monday’s peak hourly demand is expected to be even higher. It may exceed 8,300 megawatts,” reads a statement from BC Hydro.

The Crown utility says that although there has been some localized outages on its system, it’s reassuring customers its system can meet demand.

“Customers can be assured that crews are on standby and working as hard as they can to restore power quickly. However, the intense heat is adding to what is already an inherently dangerous job for crews. They have to follow extra safety protocols due to the heat so in some cases power restoration is taking longer than normal,” says BC Hydro.

Additionally, it says peak hourly demand is usually recorded on weekdays when customers follow a more routine schedule, which makes Saturday’s and Sunday’s records even more unique.

It suggests closing drapes and blinds to block out heat and opting for smaller appliances when cooking to save money and keep cool.

BC Hydro encourages customers looking for ways to keep cool and save money during the heat wave to consider:

  • Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.
  • Shutting doors and windows: If the temperature outside is warmer than inside, keep doors and windows closed to keep the cooler air in and the warm air out.
  • Using a fan: Running a fan nine hours a day over the summer costs just $7.
  • Being a star: Purchase an ENERGY STAR air conditioner as they use about 30 to 40 per cent less power than standard units.
  • Opting for smaller appliances: Use a microwave, crockpot or toaster oven to avoid the extra heat produced by larger appliances when preparing meals.
Graham CoxGraham Cox

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