British Columbia’s first cold snap is proving to be costly.
According to BC Hydro, the province’s peak electricity demand has spiked in wake of the recent freezing temperatures and now, the company is preparing for near-record breaking loads.
Energy use on Sunday, February 3 and Monday, February 4, showed increases of 13% compared to the same days last week, and demand is expected to remain high.
Hourly demands could be anywhere between 9,600 to 10,000 megawatts. BC Hydro’s highest hourly demand ever, which was recorded on January 3, 2017, was 10,194 megawatts.
Naturally, electricity use is highest between 4 and 8 pm on weekdays, when most families return home from work and begin using their appliances.
To offset additional heating requirements, BC Hydro is recommending the following:
- Keeping the thermostat at the ideal temperature: The thermostat should be set at 16°C when away from home or sleeping, 18°C when cooking or doing housework and 21°C when relaxing at home.
- Installing draftproofing: Gaps and cracks around doors and windows let cold air into the home and warm air out. Draftproofing can reduce heat loss by up to 10%.
- Closing curtains, blinds and drapes: This can provide an extra level of insulation to reduce cold drafts from entering the home through windows.