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Potential for high energy use during heat waves
Jun 25, 2021
Spike in temperature can cause spikes in bills
KELOWNA, B.C. ̶ June 25, 2021 With temperatures expected to rise to over 40 degrees Celsius in some regions within the Okanagan and West Kootenays early next week, FortisBC is expecting demand for electricity to spike in those areas as air conditioners and air source heat pumps work to keep up with demand.
Some immediate steps people can take to stay cool and avoid higher than expected bills include:
- Cooling only the rooms you’re using
- Keeping the windows, curtains and blinds closed on sun-facing windows
- Increasing the settings on your thermostat and cooling only when you are at home and awake
- Setting overhead fans to counter-clockwise
- Hanging laundry outside to dry
- Turning the pilot light off on natural gas fireplaces and having it relit in the fall by a licensed gas contractor with your annual furnace maintenance.
- Running your dishwasher and other heat-producing appliances during cooler parts of the day
Longer-term strategies people can take include planting a shade tree on the southwest or southeast side of a home as well as draft proofing and adding insulation to your home or building to prevent air leaks.
FortisBC also keeps a close eye on the safety of its many employees who work outdoors. Crews discuss how to manage heat exposure as part of their daily safety assessments, are supplied with extra water to stay well hydrated and, during the hottest parts of the day, only undertake strenuous tasks as needed.
The FortisBC electric system has been upgraded over the years to handle increased load from these higher temperatures, even during peak times of demand which are typically from 5 to 7 p.m. when people return home from their daily activities. FortisBC customers who want to monitor their energy use, especially during periods of extreme temperature, can see how their usage changes at different times of the day and hour-by-hour by logging into fortisbc.com/accountonline.
FortisBC Inc. is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost. FortisBC Inc. employs approximately 560 British Columbians and serves approximately 182,012 direct and indirect customers in B.C.’s South Interior. FortisBC Inc. owns and operates four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, as well as approximately 7,335 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines. FortisBC Inc. is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC Inc. uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit www.fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit www.fortisinc.com.