It’s been a cold, cold weekend for British Columbia, and that’s about to be reflected in our hydro bills – almost record-breakingly so.
BC Hydro has recorded a 13-14% spike in electricity use on February 3rd and 4th compared to the same days last week, and the company expects this trend to continue with the advent of colder than average temperatures over the coming days.
Currently, the highest recorded hourly peak demand for electricity in BC was on January 3rd, 2017, when consumption reached up to 10,194 megawatts.
The electricity utility is now predicting that peak demand for consumption this winter will fall in the range of 9,600 to 10,000 megawatts.
Hourly electricity use is at its highest between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekday evenings.
To offset the additional heating requirements, BC Hydro recommends:
- Keeping the thermostat at the ideal temperature: The thermostat should be set at 16 degrees C when away from home or sleeping, 18 degrees C when cooking or doing housework and 21 degrees 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 per cent.
- Closing curtains, blinds and drapes: This can provide an extra level of insulation to reduce cold drafts from entering the home through windows.