Extreme heat leads to second straight day of record-breaking electricity demand
The top of a heat pump in Campbell River’s Ocean Grove neighbourhood, (Troy Landreville, Vista Radio)
BC Hydro is reporting yet another new record for the highest hourly demand.
It happened on a sweltering Sunday night and broke the previous record set on Saturday.
Preliminary analysis found consumption reached 8,106 megawatts, which was more than 100 megawatts higher than Saturday.
BC Hydro is expecting a new record today, with the mercury expected to rise well into the upper-30s Celsius, and air conditioners cranked up across the province.
Usage may exceed 8,300 megawatts.
Over the past couple of days, BC Hydro has seen some localized outages on its system.
“BC Hydro appreciates that any outage can be concerning, but even more so in this extreme heat. Customers can be assured that crews are on standby and working as hard as they can to restore power quickly,” BC Hydro said in a release.
“However, the intense heat is adding to what is already an inherently dangerous job for crews. Crews have to follow extra safety protocols due to the heat, so power restoration is taking longer than normal.”
BC Hydro says it’s taking steps to help customers including canceling the majority of planned outages as well as suspending disconnections for non-payment.
It’s also offering tips to beat the heat:
- Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 percent of the heat.
- Shutting doors and windows: If the temperature outside is warmer than inside, keep doors and windows closed to keep the cooler air in and the warm air out.
- Using a fan: Running a fan nine hours a day over the summer costs just $7.
- Being a star: Purchase an ENERGY STAR air conditioner as they use about 30 to 40 percent less power than standard units.
- Opting for smaller appliances: Use a microwave, crockpot, or toaster oven to avoid the extra heat produced by larger appliances when preparing meals.