FortisBC is reporting record electricity usage as temperatures spike. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

FortisBC sees record-high summer electricity usage in Okanagan and Kootenays

‘As temperatures spike, so does the demand for electricity’ - FortisBC

More heat means more AC — and subsequently, more electricity.

On July 30, FortisBC experienced a record-setting demand on its electric utility in the Okanagan and Kootenay. The energy utility recorded the new summer peak load at 651 megawatts (MW). The previous peak was 630 MW, set on August 1, 2018.

“The new record reflects the growing energy demand in these regions, especially during the hottest days,” FortisBC stated in a news release.

READ MORE: Hazy Okanagan skies caused by U.S. wildfires: Environment Canada

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Demand is expected to remain high as the warm weather continues. If people are concerned about their electricity usage, FortisBC has offered the following tips to lower the demand on their cooling systems:

  • Closing windows curtains and blinds. Taking this step, especially when temperatures are at their peak, will prevent the sun from heating up the home.
  • Installing weather stripping to seal gaps and cracks around doors and windows prevents warmer air from entering the home, helping keep the cooler air inside the home as well.

As demand steadily increases, FortisBC said it is investing in upgrades. The company is installing a new transformer at the Sexsmith substation in Kelowna that will help increase its capacity.

Earlier this year, FortisBC also submitted an application to its regulator, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC), requesting to add a third transformer to the Lee Terminal substation also located in Kelowna.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
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FortisBC

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