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Freezing temperatures increase provincewide electricity use

VANCOUVER: The first cold snap of the year has led the province's peak electricity demand to increase by an average of 13 per cent on February 3 and 4 compared to the same days last week.

With colder than normal temperatures over the coming days, the demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week and BC Hydro is preparing for near-record breaking loads.

BC Hydro is forecasting peak hourly demands in the range of 9,600 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts. The highest hourly peak demand was recorded on Jan. 3, 2017 when consumption reached 10,194 megawatts.

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

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.

For more ways to save energy and money this winter, visit

BC Hydro Media Relations
604 928 6468