Back to top

FortisBC sees record breaking electricity use

Due to recent upgrades completed over the years, especially in Kelowna and the South Okanagan, FortisBC is confident the system can deliver the electricity our customers are relying on, even as the temperatures spike. — Submitted photo

Now that the summer heat is here, power companies, like FortisBC, are reminding customers to be aware of the energy they use to keep their homes cool, especially during peak electricity usage hours of 4-7 p.m. when people come home from work or other daytime activities.

This comes after FortisBC hit a new summer peak load on our electric system of 615 MW on July 16, higher than our previous summer peak load of 601 MW from August 5, 2014. By comparison, the summer peak in 2017 was 593 MW on July 6.The highest previous peak load on record is 746 MW from December 2008.

“By taking simple steps to save energy, customers can reduce the load on their air conditioners or heat pumps, which can help their appliances last longer and help them avoid extra costs on their electricity bills,” said FortisBC Corporate Communications Advisor Nicole Bogdanovic  in a media release.

Due to upgrades completed over the years, especially in Kelowna and the South Okanagan, FortisBC is confident the system can deliver the electricity our customers are relying on, even as the temperatures spike.

“This is a good reminder for customer to pay attention to their electricity use to avoid higher than expected bills next month,” said Bogdanovic.

“We offer a free tool to help. As a result of installing advanced meters, customers now have online access to their weekly, daily and hourly electricity use data. This tool provides electricity customers the ability to see how their electricity use changes at different times and empowers them to find ways to save energy and see what rebates may be available to them.”

Customer can learn how to take advantage of this free tool at this link.

Air conditioning can be one of the biggest energy users in the house in the summer months. Here are some energy-saving tips to keep cool while conserving power:

  • Set the air conditioner to come on a few degrees higher, such as 25 degrees, and even higher when you’re not at home.
  • Use fans where possible and only cool the rooms you’re using.
  • Keep blinds and curtains closed to keep the sun out.
  • Keep your air conditioner or heat pump well-maintained and change the air filter regularly.
  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances, like your oven, clothes dryer and dishwasher during the hottest times of the day. Use cold water to wash your clothes whenever possible.

Curious customers concerned about how the house air conditioner may be affecting electricity bill, use our energy calculator at fortisbc.com/energycalculator.