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Cold Lower Mainland winter sets records with BC Hydro

(Via BC Hydro)

Cold winter pushes hydro bills to a new high

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You weren’t the only one cringing when those hydro bills arrived this past winter.

That extra-cold winter caused BC to set a record for power consumption.

“With the colder-than-average temperatures this winter, we definitely saw an increase in electricity consumption across the province. If we look back to December and January, residential consumption in electrically-heated homes actually increased by more than 16 per cent, so that’s quite significant,” says Mora Scott with BC Hydro.

The record fell earlier this year.

“We also set a new record for power consumption in early January, when demand for electricity peaked at 10-thousand-126 megawatts. And the new record actually breaks a previous record that had been in place for more than a decade,” says Scott.

She says increases of up to 88 per cent are expected during the winter months versus the summer, but this year went above and beyond.

But, the corporation is trying to give you a break.

“We’ve seen electricity reach record levels. And that’s why we took action earlier this year to help our customers keep their bill more affordable. We did announce a special winter payment plan that gives residential customers the choice to split their bill payments over a six-month period,” says Scott, adding the extended length of the season has them going one step further.

“Due to the longer-than-average cold temperatures that we saw this season, we’ve actually recently extended the sign-up period by one month. So customers now have until April 30th to give us a call if they want to make individual payment arrangements.”