B.C. electricity demand hits an all-time high

BC Hydro has some tips for people looking to lower electricity use

The recent cold snap means British Columbians are turning up their thermostats | Javier Zayas Photography / Getty Images

BC Hydro says the province set a new record for peak electricity demand on Monday as temperatures hit extreme lows.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 27, demand for electricity hit an all-time high of 10,902 megawatts, which is higher than the previous record of 10,577 megawatts set in 2020.

“The record represents a single moment in the hour when demand for electricity was the highest yesterday,” says Simi Heer, BC Hydro spokesperson, in a statement. “Most of the increase is likely due to additional home heating required during this cold snap.”

In addition to the peak demand record on Monday, BC Hydro has observed on an overall increase in electricity demand since Friday. Monday’s hourly peak demand was 18 per cent higher than Friday’s.

“BC Hydro has enough supply options in place to meet increasing electricity demand,” adds Heer. “However, if British Columbians want to help ease some of the demand on the system during peak times, we encourage shifting activities like doing laundry or running dishwashers to earlier in the day or later in the evening.”

BC Hydro is also offering energy conservation tips for people looking to lower their electricity use and their electricity bills:

Manage your home heating actively by turning the heat down when no one his home or when everyone is sleeping. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures at different times based on your family's activities. BC Hydro recommends the following temperatures:

16 degrees Celsius when sleeping or away from home
21 degrees Celsius when relaxing, watching TV
18 degrees Celsius when doing housework or cleaning