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BC Hydro data confirms we are sleeping in

Last Updated Apr 5, 2020 at 11:48 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

At home, our lights and microwaves don't fire up as early as they used to

On the commercial side, hydro consumption at BC restaurants is down 31 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With most of us staying at home these days, our electricity consumption has changed.

Power consumption in BC homes is about nine percent higher than normal, which is to be expected.

But BC Hydro’s Susie Rieder points out our lights and toasters are not being flicked on as early as they used to.

“We’ve seen evidence of later morning electricity-use peak. This is likely due to British Columbians maybe not waking up as early to rush out the door for work or for school.”

She says the typical morning peak lasts between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. But nowadays, the electricity load builds more gradually and peaks closer to 1:00 p.m.

And that’s not the only change.

“As for the evening peak, we are seeing an earlier peak. This is probably due to British Columbians cooking dinner earlier because they’re not doing things like commute home,” she explains.

Not surprisingly, electricity consumption at various types of businesses is down.

“Electricity usage by restaurants was down 31 per cent last week, hotels down 24 per cent and offices were down 15 per cent relative to the week prior,” she notes.

Rieder says thankfully streaming Netflix a lot more doesn’t mean a much higher electricity bill, since most people will be using devices like an energy-efficient smart TV.

Expect new trends to take shape as the crisis continues.

“We continue to monitor the provincial electricity load, and we do expect electricity consumption from residential and commercial sides are going to be evolving as British Columbians settle into these new routines,” says Rieder.