FortisBC tells customers to watch energy use during cold snap

Cold can empty your wallet

FortisBC is reminding customers to keep a close eye on their energy use during the cold snap this week.

Heating accounts for the most energy use in a home, and it typically spikes during periods of cold weather as furnaces, baseboard heating and heat pumps cycle more frequently to maintain consistent and comfortable temperatures inside homes. With heating appliances running more often, more energy is used.

Natural gas use can increase as much as 80% during cold spells, as it is the most commonly used energy for space heating. Draft-proofing and sealing leaks, usually around windows and doors, as well as turning down the heat in unused rooms, are ways to save money when it comes to space heating.

Programmable thermostats can also save cash during these cool times. Setting them to reduce temperatures overnight or while the home is empty are cost-cutting measures, as is turning down the heat in rooms that aren’t being used. The utility has found this can save up to 15% on home heating bills.

FortisBC also recently completed a pilot program for connected or ‘smart’ thermostats and found that when used properly, they lowered natural gas use by about 3.5% and electricity use by 4.5%.

Customers can monitor and better understand their energy use using tools available on their online FortisBC account.

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