Hydro demand spikes

As the temperatures outside dip down, the thermostat inside gets cranked up.

BC Hydro reports the recent cold snap has resulted in a "10 per cent increase in overall provincial electricity demand on Feb. 18 and 19 compared to the same days last week."

Temperatures in the Okanagan have been hovering around record lows and the forecast is calling for them to stay there, possibly until the middle of next week.

“Demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week as the cold snap continues, and B.C. Hydro is preparing for near-record breaking peak loads,” BC Hydro said in a release. 

The electric utility records the highest demand for electricity in the winter months between 4 and 8 p.m. on weekday evenings. That's when British Columbians come home, turn up the heat, switch on the lights, do laundry and make dinner.

The ideal thermostat settings for winter months are 16 degrees when away from home or sleeping, 18 degrees when cooking or working around the house, and 21 degrees when relaxing.

BC Hydro has also activated its Winter Payment Plan in response to the colder-than-average temperatures this winter season. The plan helps customers manage winter bills by providing the option to spread payments over a six-month period. Customers who would like to participate can call 1-800-BCHYDRO before March 31 to sign-up.

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