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New record for electricity use broken in B.C. amid extreme cold snap

Residential electricity use is typically at its highest in the colder, darker winter months
Power lines are seen against cloudy skies near Murvale, Ont. northwest of Kingston, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Electricity demand spiked to a new record for BC Hydro Monday (Dec. 19) amid the latest extreme cold snap in the province.

The previous record was set nearly a year ago, on Dec. 27, 2021, when consumption reached 10,762 megawatts. On Monday night, between 5 to 6 p.m., electricity use reached over 10,800 megawatts.

“With more sub-zero temperatures in the coming days, BC Hydro expects demand will remain high and there is the potential to see this latest record fall before the cold snap ends,” said Susie Rieder, BC Hydro spokesperson.

“Despite the significant increase, we want to assure our customer that we will continue to be able to meet demand for electricity across the province this winter because of our large integrated hydroelectric system.”

Residential electricity use is typically at its highest in the colder, darker winter months, which can lead to higher costs for some customers.

Some tips to minimize electricity use – and the impacts on your pocketbook – include turning down the thermostat when no one is home or when everyone is sleeping, avoiding cranking it and instead turning it up a few degrees at a time, and keeping windows covered with blinds and drapes to act as an insulator.

READ MORE: Cancellations at YVR airport, BC Ferries as heavy snow and extreme cold blankets B.C.


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About the Author: Ashley Wadhwani-Smith

I began my journalistic journey at Black Press Media as a community reporter in my hometown of Maple Ridge, B.C.
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