British Columbia

FortisBC is concerned about a cold snap. Meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says don't worry … yet

FortisBC is concerned a cold snap could push customers to use more energy, but CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says there's nothing to worry about yet.

Energy provider issues another warning

Fortis has released several videos following the line rupture, including this one explaining to customers the need to reduce consumption. (Fortis/Youtube)

FortisBC is again asking customers conserve energy, this time over concerns about decreasing temperatures.

A major Enbridge pipeline which ruptured and exploded Oct. 9 northeast of Prince George is responsible for the supply problem.

The company says natural gas demand dropped 20 per cent following its first warning, but according to CEO Roger Dall'Antonia, "we're not out of the woods yet."

"With the Enbridge system operating at its current capacity, we may not have sufficient natural gas supply to serve our customers through the winter," says Dall'Antonia in the latest video update put out by the company.

"If and when the Enbridge system increases to 80 per cent capacity, our natural gas system will still be vulnerable, and an extended period of cold weather could lead to loss of service to large industrial or commercial customers or possibly even some residential customers.

Cold is coming but not like in years past

FortisBC acknowledges the province has been fortunate with some milder temperatures this month, a fact backed by CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe.

"Our temperatures have been mild. Taking you through the next week, we're actually staying up in the double-digits for our afternoon highs."

But while she says we have been lucky in that regard, don't expect it to last.

"I can pretty much guarantee we will see at least a week of those below-freezing temperatures sometime in the next couple of months."

Wagstaffe adds that while temperatures are still expected to drop, B.C. residents can probably expect a milder winter.

"All signs are pointing to the fact this winter, most likely, won't be as cold as the past two winters where we were in a La Niña set up. We are into a building El Niñ​o which typically means warmer than normal for us across B.C."

For more information on how to conserve natural gas, visit FortisBC's website.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.