Energy use hits high mark in Kootenays

Fortis BC reports highest energy demand since 2008

The recent cold snap has forced West Kootenay residents to turn up the heat in their homes and that is having an impact on use, says FortisBC.

For electricity use, last Wednesday, Jan. 4 was the peak day for the season on the system overall, with demand at 731 megawatts, reported Nicole Bogdanovic of FortisBC corporate communications.

“This is the highest demand we’ve seen on our system since we reached our record peak load of 746 megawatts in December 2008,” she said.

“Castlegar is quite representative of what we experienced in the Kootenay region. Wednesday was a peak day with demand at 26 megawatts or 24 per cent higher than the end of November, which was 19 megawatts. This is also about three per cent higher than mid-December when we experienced the previous cold period in the region. The peak loads typically occur between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.”

While demand for natural gas continues to be high in the Interior, the highest usage day this season remains Dec. 16, which was 50 per cent higher than the end of November.

That was also the coldest day in December with the Southeast Fire Centre reporting an overnight low of -15.8 C, a new record for that day.

“The record load on our natural gas system was November 2014,” Bogdanovic added.

“With the investment we’ve put in the system over the last 10 years, we’re prepared to handle the higher demand on the electricity system. We’re also able to supplement our natural gas supply with our LNG stores on the coast.

“We do remain very concerned about our customers who may be facing higher than expected energy bills. Energy use is typically 50 per cent higher in the winter than summer, and this is a good reminder to take steps to weatherize homes and businesses, and make sure heating systems are in good working condition.”

Some quick and easy things people can do to reduce energy use during a cold snap are:

· Putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat.

· Checking for drafts around windows and doors, and adding or replacing worn weather stripping.

· If you’re looking to make energy saving upgrades to your home, like upgrading insulation, water heaters or high-efficiency fireplaces, make sure to check for Fortis rebates.

Customers can visit for additional tips, instructional videos and information about programs that can help them reduce their energy use.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

The portion of highway is down to single-lane alternating traffic. Photo: Connor Trembley
Commercial trailer catches fire near Castlegar

Traffic was delayed along Hwy 3

Numbers indicate positive COVID-19 tests, January through September. Map: BC Centre for Disease Control
Twenty-five cases of COVID-19 reported in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail in 2020

New data from the BC Centre for Disease Control shows numbers of cases per community

Castlegar Search and Rescue members practicing their skills at the Kinnaird Bluffs. Photo: submitted
Why search and rescue is a free, non-judgmental service in B.C.

Castlegar Search and Rescue talks about why they do what they do

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read