On Super Bowl Sunday, the electricity action is during pre-game prep

In the past four years, the power-usage increase has been about eight per cent on average, most of which can be attributed to pre-game food preparation

Super Bowl Sunday will see a surge in power — and not only with the offences of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

BC Hydro said when it comes to electricity consumption, the real battle is in the lead up to kickoff in the kitchen — not in the main event.

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Despite fans consuming massive amounts of chicken wings and beer, electricity use during the game does not increase more than a typical Sunday, according to the Crown corporation.

However, preparations for the event do have an impact on home electricity usage, starting at about 11 a.m. In the past four years, BC Hydro noted, the increase has been about eight per cent on average, most of which can be attributed to pre-game food preparation. This is the equivalent to cooking 2.4-million frozen pizzas. 

By the time of kickoff at 3:30 p.m., the increased electricity load drops to what BC Hydro would typically experience on a Sunday. Despite an estimated 4.5 million people watching the Super Bowl every year in Canada, BC Hydro does not see an increase during the game. 

This can partially be attributed to collective watching. During the event, many British Columbians gather together to attend parties hosted by friends or family or head out to a restaurant or bar to watch the game. As a result, there are fewer screens on during the game than might be expected. Most people also forgo other energy consuming activities — such as laundry or washing dishes — during the game, which is another reason there is not a big increase in power consumption. 

To improve pre-game energy-efficiency statistics, BC Hydro recommends:

  • Forgoing the preheat: Unless baking, most dishes do not need a pre-heated oven. While it may take the chicken wings a little longer to cook, the oven will use less energy.
  • Opting for smaller appliances: Where possible, use a smaller appliance, such as a toaster oven, slow cooker or instant pot. These can use up to 75 per cent less electricity than an electric oven.
  • Skipping the heat-dry function: A house full of guests can produce a lot of dirty dishes. Turning off the heat-dry feature on the dishwasher can cut its electricity use in half.
  • Lowering the thermostat: Cooking can increase a household’s temperature significantly, so lower the thermostat to a recommended 18 C.

 For more information on how to save energy and money, go online to powersmart.ca.

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