Colder than normal temperatures due to an Arctic ridge of high pressure has led to a spike in hydro usage.
BC Hydro Community Relations, Dave Mosure said the first cold snap of the year has led the province’s peak electricity demand to increase by on average about 13 percent for February 3rd and 4th.
“And that’s comparing to the same days of last week,” he said.
“With the colder than normal temperatures in the coming days, the demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week and BC Hydro is preparing for near record-breaking loads.”
To offset the additional heating requirements, BC Hydro recommends keeping the thermostat set at 16 °C when away from home or sleeping, 18 °C when cooking or doing housework and 21°C when relaxing at home
“If there’s gaps or cracks around doors and windows that let the cold air into the home and the warm air out, that draft proofing can help reduce that loss of heat by about 10 percent,” Mosure adds.
“Even if you just close the blinds, the curtains, or the drapes that can provide an extra level of insulation to reduce cold drafts from entering the home through the windows.”
BC Hydro according to an information bulletin is forecasting peak hourly demands in the range of 9,600 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts. The highest hourly peak demand was recorded on January 3, 2017, when consumption reached 10,194 megawatts.
Temperatures ranging from a daytime high of -17°C with a low of -27°C are in the forecast this week for the Cariboo.
Normals this time of year according to Environment Canada are an average high of -1.5°C with an average low of -10.5°C.