Hydro-Québec expects to break record for 2nd day in a row

Officials are reminding Québecers to reduce their energy use if possible, after the province broke the power consumption record twice yesterday.

Cold snap brings power consumption rates to an all-time high

Hydro-Québec expects to break the power consumption record for the third time in two days, and officials are reminding Quebecers to reduce their electricity use as much as possible. (CBC)

Hydro-Québec is expecting to break another power consumption record today.

Yesterday, the power utility said the province broke the record twice, first in the morning at 38,910 megwatts and then again surpassing that number at 39,120 megawatts around 5:30 p.m.

The previous record was 37,717 megawatts, recorded exactly two years ago today, on Jan. 24, 2011.

Officials are reminding Québecers to reduce their energy use if possible.

This morning, Hydro-Québec said there about 1,000 clients without power, most of them in the Montreal and Montérégie regions.

The problems are not necessarily related to the cold weather.


Ways to cut your power consumption

  • Lower the thermostat temperature by a degree or two in all rooms, especially those that are unused
  • Avoid using major appliances (especially dryers and dishwashers) during peak hours
  • Limit the use of hot water

"We are experiencing an exceptionally long period of intense cold and overtime, that reduces the thermal insulation of homes," said Hydro-Québec spokeswoman Ariane Connor.

"Demand for electricity grows every year. Last year alone we added 50,000 new households."

Hydro-Québec says it has implemented the necessary steps in order to ensure the continuation of its services.

The service will be taking its own advice, and says it will even turn off the well-known "Q" logo on the utility's Hydro-Québec headquarters in Montreal. Heating and lighting have been reduced in all of Quebec City's administrative buildings.

CAA receives 11,500 calls

The cold weather is keeping technicians at CAA Quebec busy.

The organization received more than 11,500 calls yesterday to help stranded motorists.

CAA Quebec spokesman, Cédric Essiminy, said three out of four callers are asking for a boost on a dead battery.

Essiminy suggests drivers keep their vehicles' maintenance up-to-date to help avoid issues in the winter months. He said regular oil changes and fresh spark plugs can also make a difference.