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Solo Bowl: Super Bowl Sunday power use could be higher with no gatherings

VANCOUVER: BC Hydro finds Super Bowl Sunday will look a lot different this year, as most British Columbians will forgo gatherings and stay home to watch the game, increasing overall power use.

A new survey1 conducted on behalf of BC Hydro finds while almost half of British Columbians plan to watch the Super Bowl this year, more than three-quarters of viewers will be watching from home instead of gathering with family and friends because of COVID-19. This lack of collective watching will likely mean higher electricity use from more screens being watched and more appliances working to prepare Super Bowl snacks.

BC Hydro data shows it is the preparations for hosting – primarily cooking – that impacts electricity use the most on Super Bowl Sunday. While British Columbians are three times more likely to watch the game alone this year, nearly 80 per cent will still prepare food to enjoy with most using the oven – the most energy intensive appliance – to cook. The most popular item on the home menu this year are:

  • Chicken wings (41 per cent)
  • Nachos (40 per cent)
  • Pizza (35 per cent)
  • Ribs (13 per cent)
  • Chili (10 per cent)

While 25 per cent of viewers indicated they did not plan on watching at home, most of these were still undecided and might forego watching the game all together or end up at home. On Sunday, just 3 per cent indicated they will watch from a pub or restaurant, and about 6 per cent will watch from a friend or family member’s home, and many of these viewers live alone. This is down significantly from previous years.

In a ‘normal’ year, about 40 per cent said they would gather to attend parties hosted by friends or family, or head out to a restaurant or bar to watch the game. This collective watching meant there were fewer screens on during the game. This year, however, the addition of thousands more individual television screens broadcasting the game will likely mean higher energy use well into the fourth quarter. In fact, about 13 per cent said they will also be watching and interacting with the game on multiple screens or devices at once, further adding to electricity use.

To improve energy efficiency stats while enjoying the game at home, BC Hydro recommends:

  • Cooking with smaller appliances:Where possible, use a smaller appliance such as a toaster oven, slow cooker or Instant Pot. These can use up to 75 per cent less electricity than an electric oven.
  • Lowering the thermostat: Cooking can increase a household’s temperature significantly – lower the thermostat to a recommended 18 degrees Celsius.
  • Watching on a star: Watch the game on an ENERGY STAR-rated television – they use at least 30 per cent less electricity than other TVs.
  • Tracking electricity use: Use MyHydro to see how game day activities impact a household’s electricity use.

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

BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468

Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury on behalf of BC Hydro of 800 British Columbians from Jan. 25-28, 2021.