(Black Press Media files)

Electricity use spikes by 13% during cold snap: BC Hydro

Temperatures across B.C. are expected to remain unusually cold

The prolonged cold snap plaguing much of B.C. has sent the province’s electricity use up by 13 per cent over the past two days, according to BC Hydro.

The utility said in a Tuesday press release that demand went up by an average of 13 per cent on Sunday and Monday, compared to the same days last week – and electricity use is expected to remain high over the coming days.

BC Hydro is forecasting peak hourly demands of 9,600 megawatts to 10,000 megawatts. The current record demand was on Jan. 3, 2017, when electricity use hit 10,194 megawatts.

The highest demand for electricity is between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays during the winter.

READ MORE: B.C. Legislature fountain freezes solid during cold snap

To cut down on electricity use – and your bill – BC Hydro recommends:

  • Keeping the thermostat at the ideal temperature: The thermostat should be set at 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: Gaps and cracks around doors and windows let cold air into the home and warm air out. Draftproofing can reduce heat loss by up to 10 per cent.
  • Closing curtains, blinds and drapes: This can provide an extra level of insulation to reduce cold drafts from entering the home through windows.

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