British Columbia

BC Hydro expects near-record electricity demand due to cold snap

The cold snap across B.C. is leading to surging electricity demand that BC Hydro expects will rival the record set on Nov. 29, 2006.

Monday dinnertime surge expected to rival record set on Nov. 29, 2006

Low temperatures have people pulling up their hoods and turning up the heat. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The cold snap across B.C. is leading to surging electricity demand, which BC Hydro expects will reach or break the province's all-time record.

BC Hydro is preparing for demand to reach about 10,100 megawatts this Monday — a 17 per cent increase over the same time last week.

The highest demand ever recorded in B.C. was between 5 and 6 p.m. PT on Nov. 29, 2006, when consumption reached 10,113 megawatts.

BC Hydro is asking residents to reduce electricity use at dinnertime, when demand is highest.

Weekday evenings between 4 and 8 p.m. tend to have the greatest draw on power, according to BC Hydro.

"[That's] the time of day when people come home, turn up the heat, do their laundry, make dinner, and switch on the TV," says spokesperson Mora Scott.

To help save power during the cold weather, BC Hydro suggests residents:

  • wash clothes in cold water
  • turn off the "heat dry" function on the dishwasher
  • use a programmable thermostat to limit unnecessary home heating

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