VANCOUVER, B.C. – A new BC Hydro report says that after the drop in electricity demand due to COVID-19, it looks as though overall power consumption in the province is beginning to trend upwards from businesses reopening and residents across B.C. are heading back to work.
The report, called “Powering through uncertainty: Shifting habits since COVID-19 restrictions were eased and what that means for future electricity demand in B.C.”, says 40 percent of residents across the province indicated their daily routine has changed since the stay-at-home measures were lifted in mid-June.
Those residents who say their routine has changed, 20 percent are now working from home less, and about a quarter of them are waking up earlier, and close to 10 percent are going to bed earlier. The report also says that around 10 percent are showering more.
According to the report, the most significant change has been dining out. Close to 70 percent indicated they’re now going out to restaurants to eat with 40 percent saying they do so at least once a week.
The report also says that 15 percent are now watching less TV or streaming less.
More British Columbians are back at work, which means spending less time at home, so provincial electricity use has also steadily increased since mid-June.
By the end of March, overall electricity use declined nearly 10 percent. Despite this, it was less significant than what was happening globally, with the UK, France, and Spain experiencing 15 to 20 percent drops in overall power consumption.
According to the Hydro report, overall electricity is expected to remain in the low area for the next one to two years. The rebound is expected in the long term because of population growth, fuel switching, electric vehicles, home heating and, industries that are dependent on fossil fuels.
BC Hydro also says they are putting together a long-term plan called ‘Clean Power 2040’. This plan will see Hydro continuing to deliver safe and clean electricity to customers over the next 20 years. Even though Hydro has enough electricity to power the province for several years, the company says they need to be prepared for what comes next and make plans for is the demand is higher or lower than initially expected. Hydro says they’re learning from the COVID-19 pandemic and how important it is to be prepared for multiple scenarios.