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BC Hydro sets record for highest February power load

VANCOUVER: BC Hydro set a record for the highest ever February load, when monthly load for electricity reached approximately 5,500 gigawatt hours.

This month, BC Hydro also broke the record for the highest daily average energy consumption and the highest peak hourly demand – the hour its customer use the most electricity – when demand reached more than 10,000 megawatts on February 11.

As a result of cold weather in the Pacific Northwest and natural gas limitations associated with the Enbridge natural gas pipeline event, the wholesale electricity market has been affected.

In November, BC Hydro recognized the potential future need for additional power in its system due to below-normal reservoir levels following a dry summer. To ensure a consistent supply of affordable electricity for its customers, it took steps to secure a sufficient import supply to meet evolving system needs over the winter season. BC Hydro anticipates continuing to import energy over the weeks ahead to meet its operational needs.

The importing of power is a temporary measure in response to current conditions, including the limited production of independent power producers, and will not have an impact on rates. BC Hydro’s long-term energy forecast remains in a surplus.

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 help customers reduce their electricity use, 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 and help reduce the need to turn up the heat.

For more information on how to save energy and money, visit

BC Hydro Media Relations
604 928 6468