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BC Hydro predicts possible record-breaking electricity demand for June

Last Updated Jun 19, 2018 at 11:43 am PDT

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BC Hydro suggests closing drapes and blinds, making use of ceiling fans, hanging laundry to dry to help stay cool

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – This heat wave has meant a huge demand for electricity in BC, with predictions that we could exceed the historical record for the month of June.

BC Hydro is making that prediction, a day after it recorded the highest peak hourly demand of the season. At nearly 7,300 megawatts, the yesterday’s peak hour was up more than 10 per cent over the previous Monday.

The utility is forecasting peak loads between 7,000 and 7,500 megawatts over the next few days, mainly because of people will likely be making heavier use of fans, air conditioners, and refrigeration units to beat the heat.

“It is unusual for temperatures to be this high so early in the season — before the official start of summer — which is why we are predicting that we could break our historical consumption for the month of June… as those high temperatures continue,” says Tanya Fish with BC Hydro.

Last August, a new record was set for summer power consumption, with the province-wide peak hourly demand reaching about 5,700 megawatts.

BC Hydro is offering some energy-efficient ways to stay cool during this heatwave. It says closing the drapes and blinds can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.

If you rely on fans to cool down, you can position them by windows or doors in the evening; that can help direct the cooler air into your home.

BC Hydro also says ceiling fans are the “most efficient” option for cooling, but in order to direct the cool air down, you need to ensure that they are rotating counter-clockwise.

As for laundry, opting to hang clothes to dry can keep out unnecessary heat and also save you on electricity.

When it comes to cooking, stoves and ovens produce a lot of heat. If you can make use of smaller appliances like a microwave, crockpot, or toaster oven, you can keep that much cooler in your home.