As the first summer heat wave hits the province, BC Hydro is predicting province-wide electricity demand could exceed the historical record for the month of June.
On Monday, the company recorded the highest peak hourly demand – the hour customers use the most electricity – of the season.
At nearly 7,300 megawatts, this represents more than a 10% increase over the previous Monday.
“BC Hydro is forecasting its peak load to be between 7,000 and 7,500 megawatts over the next few days,” the company said in a statement. “The increase in electricity use is attributed to customers turning on fans and air conditioners, and refrigeration units working harder to stay cool.”
In light of these numbers, the company is also offering consumers tips on how to keep their power bill down, while still keeping cool at the same time during the summer months:
- Close the drapes and blinds: shading windows can block out up to 65% of the heat
- Position a fan by a window or door in the evening when temperatures are cooler to direct the cool air in
- Ceiling fans are the most efficient option for cooling. Ensure the fan is rotating counter-clockwise to help direct the cool air down
- Hang laundry to dry: avoiding the dryer will keep unnecessary heat out the house.
- Opt for smaller appliances or take the cooking outside: use a microwave, crockpot, toaster oven or barbeque to avoid the extra heat produced by the stove or oven
Last August, BC Hydro set a new record for summer power consumption when the province’s peak hourly demand reached approximately 7,500 megawatts.