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HomeNewsAll-time May power demand record falls in early heat wave

All-time May power demand record falls in early heat wave

A new May power consumption record has been set by people trying to stay cool in the unseasonably early heat wave.

In a release, BC Hydro said last night (Monday), nearly 7,600 megawatts were consumed as air conditioners across the province clicked on.

They do not anticipate the May record being broken again this year, as temperatures are expected to dip.

A BC Hydro spokesperson could not pinpoint the exact year they started tracking power consumption records, but told Vista Radio it has been more than 20 years.

They are encouraging people to utilize cheaper ways to stay cool by:

  • 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
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