BC Hydro’s record for summer power demand use has been smashed three days in a row amid a historic high heatwave.
According to BC Hydro, the records have been broken for the peak hourly demand, which means the hour in the day where power use is at its highest.
With highs climbing into the 40s in areas across the province this week, more people have been cranking up the air conditioning.
During peak hours on Monday, demand reached 8,516 megawatts. This is about 600 megawatts more than the previous record set before this week’s heatwave.
“This is significant because that’s the equivalent of turning on about 600,000 portable air conditioners,” said Sally Macdonald, BC Hydro Community Relations Officer.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday have each been record-breaking days in terms of summer power use for the company. The heatwave has increased demand by about 30 per cent when compared to an average day in June.
That said, BC Hydro’s grid is holding up against the strain.
“Our highest demand is in the winter. In fact, our all-time peak demand was set in January 2020, and it was at just over 10,000 megawatts,” said MacDonald. “Even though we are seeing record demand for summer, it’s nothing like what we’re able to handle in winter.”
BC Hydro offered a number of tips to further keep cool in the summer heat, without using electricity. Residents can keep their blinds closed, shut their windows and doors if it is hotter outside than inside and opt for cooking with smaller appliances that produce less heat, such as a slow-cooker, toaster oven or microwave.