Operational update

Cold snap increases electricity use across B.C.

VANCOUVER — Freezing temperatures resulted in a 10 per cent increase in overall provincial electricity demand on February 18 and 19 compared to the same days last week.

Demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week as the cold snap continues, and BC Hydro is preparing for near-record breaking peak loads.

BC Hydro records the highest demand for electricity in the winter months between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekday evenings. This is when British Columbians come home, turn up the heat, switch on the lights, do laundry and make dinner.

BC Hydro activated its Winter Payment Plan in response to the colder-than-average temperatures this winter season. The plan helps customers manage winter bills by providing the option to spread payments over a six-month period. Customers who would like to participate can call 1 800 BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) before March 31 to sign-up.

Residential electricity use can increase, on average, by 88 per cent in the colder, darker months. BC Hydro is reminding customers of simple ways to save power during the winter months by:

  • Keeping the thermostat at an ideal temperature of 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 around windows and doors to keep the warm air in and cold air out of the home.
  • Turning off unnecessary lights and unused electronics.
  • Creating a MyHydro account and using BC Hydro’s online electricity tracking tools.

For more ways to save this winter, visit powersmart.ca.


BC Hydro Media Relations
604 928 6468