Cold temperatures descended on Trail setting near record lows on Dec. 21, the first day of winter. Photo: Jim Bailey

Cold temperatures descended on Trail setting near record lows on Dec. 21, the first day of winter. Photo: Jim Bailey

BC Hydro sets record for hourly electricity demand

With more sub-zero temperatures in the coming days, BC Hydro expects demand will remain high

BC Hydro set a new record for peak hourly electricity demand on the evening of Monday, Dec. 19.

With freezing temperatures across the province, customers used the most electricity since its previous record set a year ago on Dec. 27, 2021 when consumption reached 10,762 megawatts.

Preliminary figures found that electricity consumption on Dec. 19 reached over 10,800 megawatts between 5 and 6 p.m., the highest ever recorded. This was driven by additional heating requirements.

“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.

Residential electricity use is typically at its highest in the colder, darker winter months, which can lead to higher costs for some customers. BC Hydro is reminding customers there are many ways to reduce electricity use this winter.

Customers can manage their 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 household’s activities.

BC Hydro recommends setting temperatures at 16C when sleeping or away from home, 21C when relaxing, watching TV, and 18C 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.

For more information on how to save electricity and money this winter, visit bchydro.com.

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