HVAC heating and air conditioning units.

Heat wave increases electricity demand provincewide

With high temps across the province, BC residents are reaching for the dial on air conditioners.

With high temperatures across the province, British Columbians are reaching for the dial on air conditioners or fans to keep cool, leading to a significant increase in overall provincial electricity use.

On Thursday, BC Hydro recorded the highest peak hourly demand — the hour customers use the most electricity — of the summer at 7,255 megawatts. This is an increase of nearly 10 per cent over the previous Thursday.

Typically, during a heat wave, BC Hydro sees a spike in peak electricity demand as customers turn on fans and air conditioners to stay cool and refrigeration units work harder.

Although there is a significant increase in provincial electricity load during a sustained heat wave, BC Hydro still records the highest demand in the winter. The highest hourly peak demand was recorded on Jan. 3, 2017, when consumption reached 10,126 megawatts between 5 and 6 p.m. This is in contrast to utilities in California and Ontario, where the highest peaks are experienced in the summer months due to the widespread use of air conditioning.

To help British Columbians stay cool in the heat while saving energy and money, BC Hydro is busting some common summer cooling myths:

· Myth: Running fans will keep empty rooms cool.

· Fact: Fans are designed to cool people, not rooms. While ceiling fans are the most efficient option for cooling, running a fan in an empty room is not an effective way to keep it cool.

· Myth: Window coverings only work for blocking out the sunlight, not heat.

· Fact: Window coverings are effective at blocking out 65 per cent of the heat generated by the sun. The best way to use window coverings is to close them depending on the time of day. Cover east-facing windows before bed to block out the early morning sun, south facing windows during the day, and windows that face west should be covered during the late afternoon and evening.

· Myth: Keeping windows open on hot days will improve air flow in the home.

· Fact: Windows and doors should be kept closed when the temperature outside is warmer than inside. Open windows in the evening once temperatures have cooled to allow the cool air to circulate.

· Myth: Cranking the air conditioner up will cool things down faster.

· Fact: Most air conditioning units have a single fan speed and will cool at the same rate no matter how high it is turned up. To minimize the cost of running an air conditioner, select an EnergyStar model. They use 30 to 40 per cent less energy than standard models.

Just Posted

Thankful client shares story at Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy AGM

Kyoko Smith came to CBAL through a settlement program, her story highlights what CBAL is all about.

Scope widens for Columbia Avenue redevelopment project

Castlegar’s main street will see big changes in the new year.

VIDEO: Castlegar marijuana growing facility one step closer

COUNCIL BRIEFS: Bylaws, report on financial reserves, grants and fentanyl talked about at meeting.

UPDATE: Two seriously injured in head-on crash near Genelle

A multi-vehicle accident closed down Highway 22 between Castlegar and Genelle for almost four hours

Castlegar Rebels roll with big win over Spokane Braves

The Castlegar Rebels defeated the Spokane Braves at the Castlegar Complex on Friday night.

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

B.C. family advocating for drug decriminalization following death of son

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has noted the New Democrats would decriminalize personal possession of all drugs

Winning Lotto 6/49 purchased in Kelowna

Some lucky man or woman purchased a winning 6/49 ticket in Kelowna.

Public against wildfire monument in Kamloops

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District announced the monument to commemorate volunteers’ efforts

Charge laid against B.C. man in alleged cat torture

Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, has been charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal.

Oxford Dictionary responds by video to Victoria boy’s bid for levidrome

William Shatner tweet garners attention of Oxford

Site C allows more wind, solar energy, experts say

Lawyer, economist argue for completion of B.C. Hydro dam

Record-high temperatures reached in 18 spots in B.C.

White Rock, Victoria and the Fraser Valley made new records for the unusually warm November day

Supreme Court to hear case on whether ISPs can charge for IDing online pirates

Film producers seeking to crack down on people who share copyrighted material illegally

Most Read