Cold snap leads to record-breaking electricity demand

The cold snap is making an impact on the demand for electricity.

A record-setting 10,302 megawatts for peak hourly demand was reached on Monday, BC Hydro said.

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"With below-freezing temperatures and more snow expected over the coming days, the demand for electricity is expected to remain high, and BC Hydro is expecting peak loads between 9,800 and 10,600 megawatts," the utility said.

The previous record was set on Jan. 3, 2017, when electricity peaked at 10,194 megawatts. Monday's peak load is 16% higher than the previous week.

BC Hydro is asking customers to take steps reduce electricity use during the winter, including:

  • Setting thermostat at an ideal temperature based on time of day can help reduce wasted electricity: 16 C when sleeping or away from home; 21 C when relaxing, watching TV; and 18 C when doing housework or cleaning.

  • Avoid cranking up the thermostat - 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%.

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