Heat wave could lead to record-breaking electricity use: BC Hydro

Monday was a hot one, and many turned to fans and air conditioners for relief from the heat

B.C.’s recent heat wave has the provincial electricity provider predicting a record-breaking month for electricity usage, as people look to fans and air conditioners for some relief.

BC Hydro said in a statement Tuesday it recorded the season’s highest peak hourly demand – the hour customers use the most electricity – on Monday. That day nearly 7,300 megawatts of electricity was used, which is a 10 per cent increase from the same day the week before.

Fans, air conditioners and refrigeration units working harder to stay cool are all suspected reasons for the bump in power usage.

BC Hydro is forecasting its peak load to be between 7,000 and 7,500 megawatts over the next few days, as weather remains hot across the province before cooling down by Friday and into the weekend.

That could break the record of 7,500 set last August for hourly electricity use, BC Hydro said.

The utility provider suggests a number of energy-efficient ways to keep cool during hotter forecasts, including:

  • Shading windows with blinds or drapes, which can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.
  • Position a fan by a window or door in the evening when temperatures are cooler to direct the cool air in.
  • Ensure a ceiling fan is rotating counter-clockwise to help direct the cool air down.
  • Avoid using the dryer to keep unnecessary heat out the house, and instead air dry your laundry.
  • Use a microwave, crockpot, toaster oven or barbecue to avoid the extra heat produced by the stove or oven.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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