British Columbians not-so-savvy at home A/C use, leading to higher costs

A/C use costing big bucks

With the recent hot temperatures in British Columbia, not surprisingly, air conditioning use is on the rise.

According to a new report by BC Hydro titled,'Not so well-conditioned: How inefficient A/C use is leaving British Columbians out of pocket in the cold,' people could be saving money on their energy bills.

The additional usage is increasing summer energy bills by over $200.

The report indicates that residential air conditioning use has tripled to 34 per cent since 2001 and the number is expected to rise as 80 per cent of British Columbians are planning to spend more time at home as a result of COVID-19.  

The study indicates people living in the Southern Interior are using air conditioning the most, and as A/C use rises across the province, people are looking for ways to save money on their energy bills.

BC Hydro says their survey indicates that about 90 per cent of users are setting their air conditioning lower than the 25 degrees Celsius recommended by BC Hydro, and 30 per cent are using multiple portable units – generally the most inefficient type on the market.

BC Hydro recommends British Columbians take the following measures to save energy and money on air conditioning and keep cool at home:

  • Optimizing temperature: Cool homes to 25 degrees Celsius in the summer months when occupied, and the air conditioning should be turned off when unoccupied.
  • Cooling down with a fan: Running a fan nine hours a day over the summer costs just $7.
  • Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.
  • Shutting doors and windows: If the temperature outside is warmer than inside, keep doors and windows closed to keep the cooler air in and the warm air out.
  • Limiting the use of large appliances: Use a microwave, crockpot or toaster oven to avoid the extra heat produced by larger appliances when preparing meals, and hang clothes to dry instead of using a dryer on hot days.

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