Extreme heat leads to record-breaking electricity demand for a second day in a row
VANCOUVER: BC Hydro set another new record for the highest summer peak hourly demand – the hour customers use the most electricity – on Sunday night breaking the new record set on Saturday.
Preliminary analysis found consumption reached 8,106 megawatts, which was more than 100 megawatts higher than new summer record that was set on Saturday. Monday’s peak hourly demand is expected to be even higher. It may exceed 8,300 megawatts.
Over the past couple of days, BC Hydro has seen some localized outages on its system. BC Hydro appreciates that any outage can be concerning, but even more so in this extreme heat. Customers can be assured that crews are on standby and working as hard as they can to restore power quickly. However, the intense heat is adding to what is already an inherently dangerous job for crews. Crews have to follow extra safety protocols due to the heat so in some cases power restoration is taking longer than normal.
BC Hydro has also taken important steps to protect the safety of its customers and employees, including canceling the majority of planned outages as well as suspending disconnections for non-payment.
BC Hydro encourages customers looking for ways to keep cool and save money during the heat wave to consider:
- Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.
- Shutting doors and windows: If the temperature outside is warmer than inside, keep doors and windows closed to keep the cooler air in and the warm air out.
- Using a fan: Running a fan nine hours a day over the summer costs just $7.
- Being a star: Purchase an ENERGY STAR air conditioner as they use about 30 to 40 per cent less power than standard units.
- Opting for smaller appliances: Use a microwave, crockpot or toaster oven to avoid the extra heat produced by larger appliances when preparing meal.
As the temperatures and demand for power rise, BC Hydro will continue to provide additional updates on how much load has increased and how the system is performing.