Operational update

Provincial electricity demand breaks records

VANCOUVER: B.C. set a new record for peak electricity demand on BC Hydro’s system on Monday evening due to the extreme low temperatures in many parts of the province.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on December 27, demand for electricity hit an all time high of 10,902 megawatts, which is higher than the previous record of 10,577 megawatts set in 2020.

“The record represents the hour when demand for electricity was the highest yesterday,” says Simi Heer, BC Hydro spokesperson. “Most of the increase is likely due to additional home heating required during this cold snap.”

In addition to the peak demand record on Monday, BC Hydro has observed on an overall increase in electricity demand since Friday. Monday’s hourly peak demand was 18 per cent higher than Friday’s.

“BC Hydro has enough supply options in place to meet increasing electricity demand,” adds Heer. “However, if British Columbians want to help ease some of the demand on the system during peak times, we encourage shifting activities like doing laundry or running dishwashers to earlier in the day or later in the evening.”

BC Hydro is also offering energy conservation tips for people looking to lower their electricity use and their electricity bills:

  • Manage your home heating actively by turning the heat down when no one his home or when everyone is sleeping. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures at different times based on your family's activities. BC Hydro recommends the following temperatures:
    •  16 degrees Celsius when sleeping or away from home
    •  21 degrees Celsius when relaxing, watching TV
    • 18 degrees Celsius when doing housework or cleaning
  • Avoid cranking up the thermostat – it does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.
  •  Keep windows covered with blinds and drapes for an extra layer of window insulation. Window coverings can be a quick and cost-effective way to cut heat loss and block cold drafts.
  • Draftproof your home to reduce heat loss. Use caulking and weather stripping to seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows and outlets to prevent heat from leaking out and cold air from coming in.
  • Use energy-efficient lighting and put timers on your outdoor lights, including holiday lights, so they do not remain on the entire day.
  • Try washing your clothes in cold water only or turning off the heat-dry function on your dishwasher.

For more tips and information, visit bchydro.com.