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Cold weather power demand sets record in province: BC Hydro

Last Updated Jan 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm PST

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Summary

Electricity consumption on Monday hit 10,302 megawatts, which she says is 16 per cent higher than the previous week

The old record was set Jan. 3, 2017 when the peak reached 10,194 megawatts

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A new record has been set for high peak hourly power demand in B.C. thanks to this week’s cold snap.

BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder says electricity consumption on Monday hit 10,302 megawatts, which she says is 16 per cent higher than the previous week.

“Really low temperatures are expected to continue this week and more snow is expected in the coming days, and the demand for electricity is going to remain high,” she says. “We are expecting peak loads between 9,800 and 10,600 megawatts.”


Rieder says demand usually climbs weekday evenings when most people turn up the heat, do laundry, and make dinner.

During the winter months, she explains power consumption increases by up to 88 per cent on average. She recommends setting the thermostat to an ideal temperature depending on the time of day to curb higher electricity costs during this time.

“Cranking up the thermostat doesn’t heat the home any faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time,” she says, adding draft proofing can reduce heat loss by about 10 per cent.

The old record was set Jan. 3, 2017 when the peak reached 10,194 megawatts.