This cold snap has created some power pigs.
Both BC Hydro and Fortis have both reported record power usage this week.
“For electricity use in Kelowna, Jan. 4 was the peak day for the season with demand at 307 megawatts or 25 per cent higher than the end of November at 222 megawatts,” said Nicole Bogdanovic, Corporate Communications Advisor with Fortis.
“This is three per cent higher than mid-December when we experienced the previous cold period in the region.”
Wednesday was also the peak day on the system overall with demand at 731 megawatts.
“This is the highest demand we’ve seen since we reached the record peak load of 746 megawatts on December 2008,” said Bogdanovic, adding the peak loads typically occur around 6 p.m.
While demand for natural gas continues to be high in the Interior, the highest usage day this season remains Dec.16, which was 50 per cent higher than the end of November. The record load on our natural gas system was November 2014.
BC Hydro also reported record use.
The province hit 10,126 megawatts between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 3, breaking the utility’s previous record of 10,113 megawatts between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2006.
While negative double-digit temperatures are common across most of the Interior and northern B.C., the now month-long Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley cold snap has had residents reaching for their extra blankets and space heaters.
BC Hydro is expecting demand between 9,800 and 10,200 megawatts to remain constant as long as temperatures remain below freezing.
Residential energy consumption typically increases 88 per cent on average during the winter months, Hydro says.
Both power companies offered a list of reccomendations on how to lower a rpower bill. They included unplugging unused electronics and doing laundry in cold water to save on your power bill.
If you’re looking to make energy saving upgrades to your home, like upgrading insulation, water heaters or high-efficiency fireplaces, make sure to check out our website, fortisbc.com, for rebates.
Customers can also visit fortisbc.com for additional tips, instructional videos and information about programs that can help them reduce their energy use. If they have questions about their bill, they are encouraged to call us at 1-866-436-7847.