PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – BC Hydro says it is predicting that province-wide electricity demand could exceed the historical record for the month of June as the first summer heat wave hits the province.
On Monday, Hydro says it recorded a peak hourly demand of nearly 7,300 megawatts, which is the highest it’s been this season and is 10 percent higher than the previous Monday. The Crown Corporation says it is forecasting its peak load to be between 7,000 and 7,500 megawatts over the next few days.
The increase in electricity use is attributed to customers turning on fans and air conditioners, and refrigeration units working harder to stay cool. Last August, BC Hydro set a new record for summer power consumption when the province’s peak hourly demand reached approximately 7,500 megawatts.
BC Hydro says that there are a number of ways customers can keep cool during the heat wave while also being energy-efficient:
- Close the drapes and blinds: shading windows can block out up to 65 percent of the heat.
- Out with the warm, in with the cool: position a fan by a window or door in the evening when temperatures are cooler to direct the cool air in.
- Spin that fan: ceiling fans are the most efficient option for cooling. Ensure the fan is rotating counter-clockwise to help direct the cool air down.
- Hang laundry to dry: avoiding the dryer will keep unnecessary heat out the house.
- Opt for smaller appliances or take the cooking outside: use a microwave, crockpot, toaster oven or barbeque to avoid the extra heat produced by the stove or oven.
BC Hydro spokesperson Bob Gammer also says that residents who don’t have air conditioning should only turn a fan on during the heat of the day when a room is occupied since it won’t provide any additional benefit by moving warm air around.