BC Hydro has set a new record for the highest peak hourly demand for electricity.
The new record for peak hourly demand — the hour customers use the most electricity — was reached on Monday, Jan. 13, when consumption reached 10,302 megawatts.
The previous record was set on Jan. 3, 2017, when electricity peaked at 10,194 megawatts.
With below-freezing temperatures and more snow expected over the coming days, the demand for electricity is expected to remain high, with the Crown corporation expecting peak loads between 9,800 and 10,600 megawatts. Monday’s peak load was 16 per cent higher than the previous week.
BC Hydro records the highest demand for electricity on weekday evenings when British Columbians come home, turn up the heat, switch on the lights, do laundry and make dinner. Residential electricity can increase, on average, by 88 per cent in the colder, darker, winter months. This can lead to higher heating costs for customers.
BC Hydro is reminding customers there are simple ways to reduce electricity use during the winter, including:
• Setting thermostat at an ideal temperature based on time of day can help reduce wasted electricity: 16 degrees C when sleeping or away from home, 21 C when relaxing and 18 C when doing housework or cleaning.
• Avoid cranking up the thermostat as cranking up the thermostat does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.
• Draftproofing around windows and doors to reduce heat loss by 10 per cent.
Good news is in the forecast, with the cold snap expected to end soon. Environment Canada is calling for a high of 0 C on Saturday, Jan. 18, and 3 C on Sunday, jan. 19.