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B.C. cold snap prompts energy use spike

BC Hydro is reporting a 10 per cent increase in the energy demand in the last two days
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Chilly winter temperatures are causing near record-breaking electricity demand right across the province.

BC Hydro is reporting a 10 per cent increase in overall electricity demand for the last two days (Feb. 18 and 19), compared to the same days last week.

As the cold snap is expected to continue till late Thursday the demand for electricity will remain high and BC Hydro is preparing for peak loads.

RELATED: Cold weather expected to linger in the Okanagan

BC Hydro records the highest demand for electricity in the winter months between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekday evenings —when B.C. residents are returning home, turning up the heat and switching on the lights.

The Winter Payment Plan has been activated by BC Hydro in response to these colder-than-average temperatures. This plan can help customers manage the high winter bills by providing the option to spread payments over a six-month period. Customers who would like to participate can call 1-800-BCHYDRO (1 800 224 9376) before March 31 to sign-up.

According to BC Hydro, residential electricity use can increase, on average, by 88 per cent in the colder, darker months.

Save power this winter by following the tips below:

  • Keeping the thermostat at an ideal temperature of 16 degrees C when away from home or sleeping, 18 degrees C when cooking or doing housework, and 21 degrees C when relaxing at home.
  • Installing draftproofing around windows and doors to keep the warm air in and cold air out of the home.
  • Turning off unnecessary lights and unused electronics.
  • Creating a MyHydro account and using BC Hydro’s online electricity tracking tools.

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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