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BC Hydro power demand records could fall in heat wave

The heat wave in the forecast this week is expected to break temperature records – it might also break power consumption records.

BC Hydro is predicting the hourly demand will peak on Monday, which could have the potential to break the demand record for the entire month of May.

While demand may be higher than ever for this time of year, it is still only about two-thirds of what BC Hydro would see on the coldest winter days, and they are assuring customers they can keep up with the demand.

They are also providing some suggestions on how to keep cool without running up the electricity bill this week:

  • Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent 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.
  • Cooling with a heat pump: Because BC Hydro generates 98 per cent of its electricity from clean, renewable resources that are mostly powered by water, using a heat pump to cool in the summer and heat in the winter is more environmentally friendly than a system powered by gas. It is also more energy efficient than using multiple portable AC units. BC Hydro offers up to $3,000 in rebates for switching from a fossil fuel-based system, which can be combined with provincial and federal rebates for a total savings of up to $11,000 on cost and installation with some municipalities adding additional rebates on top of that.
  • Going ductless: If a central heat pump system is not an option for your home, ductless heat pump units are a great option while offering the same benefits of a central system.
  • Choosing ENERGY STAR: If you are buying an air conditioner, opt for a window AC unit as opposed to portable units, as they are twice as energy efficient – especially if they are ENERGY STAR certified. ENERGY STAR models use about 30 to 40 per cent less power than standard units.

For more information, click here.

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