Get ready for winter: Avoid high bills, prepare for power outages

Prepare for winter

Are you prepared for an outage? Do you know how to avoid high winter bills?

Winters in B.C. can be unpredictable, and extreme weather can lead to unexpected power outages. Get your home ready for winter so you're not caught unprepared and left in the dark.

Here's a collection of important resources and tips on how to prepare for storm season and avoid high winter bills.

Make sure you have a home preparedness kit

Prepare for potential power outages caused by extreme weather. Develop a preparedness plan and find out what to pack in your emergency supply kit. Complete a home outage preparation checklist [PDF, 78 KB] and share this with your family.

Did you know? You can get outage information online or on your web-enabled mobile device, including outage reports in a map view and outage updates for your exact location. You can also call 1 888 POWER ON or *HYDRO from your mobile phone.

Avoid high bills this winter

When it's cold outside, it's tempting to just turn up the heat. But there are other ways to keep the warmth in and the drafts out while keeping your energy bills down.

During the winter, we also tend to have more people in our homes, for longer periods. The holidays bring visitors to your home, and less daylight means winter lights are on longer. Manage your power consumption by switching to CFL and LED bulbs to light your home.

Have you ever had a higher than expected bill? Check out some of the common causes and ways to bring your bill back down.

Track your energy use, by the hour

Now you can track your electricity use, right down to the hour, with MyHydro.

Check back regularly to pinpoint high points in your usage and identify opportunities to save. Create a MyHydro Profile and add your account to start tracking your electricity use today.

Preparation in storm season

Global TV meteorologist Mark Madryga knows a thing or two about forecasting thunderstorms and high winds, and in certain cases can predict whether they'll cause a power outage.

So the Madryga family is prepared with an emergency kit packed with flashlights extra batteries, drinking water, first-aid supplies and non-perishable snacks that could last his family for up to 72 hours.

"We keep our emergency kits in a location where we can access it easily and quickly," he says. "We have a cell phone and battery powered radio to keep track of the outage details, plus we keep emergency numbers handy."

Watch for Madryga on Global TV, where he shares tips on how to prepare your home for winter.

Stay safe during storm season: Assume downed power lines are live

Downed power lines are possible during storm season, and it’s important to know what to do if you come across a downed power line.

Remember downed lines may not throw sparks and should always be treated as live and extremely dangerous.

Follow these steps if you come across a downed power line:

  • If there's a downed power line, stay at least a bus-length away, which is 10 metres (33 feet).
  • Call 911 and ensure no other bystanders move within 10 metres of any downed lines.

See our visual guide to safety around downed power lines

See our visual guide to motor vehicle accidents and downed power lines