BC Hydro study reveals BC’s dependence on air conditioning


During the heatwave, BC Hydro discovered that residents were using 8,568 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of 600,000 air conditioners

After an unprecedented hot summer and record demand for electricity, a new study shows that most British Columbians see air conditioning as a necessity, not a luxury.

As demand for air conditioning in British Columbia has grown from 25 percent to almost 40 percent over the past decade, a study commissioned by BC Hydro found that more than 20 percent of British Columbians have purchased or upgraded their air conditioning units and systems this summer, bringing the total number with air conditioning even higher.

With summers traditionally cooler compared to other parts of the country, particularly in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, British Columbia has consistently fallen well below the national average when it comes to food. use of air conditioning, ”says a press release from BC Hydro. “However, with the extreme temperatures on record this summer, new information shows the gap is closing – and quickly.”

For example, the use of air conditioning seems to have increased almost as much in one summer as it has in the previous 10 years combined, the rejection continues.

Impact of the extreme heatwave

Record temperatures and an increased number of air conditioning users have pushed peak hourly demand in summer to record levels. During the extreme heatwave in June, records were broken for three consecutive days.

The highest peak hourly demand on record in summer was on June 28, when demand reached 8,568 megawatts, the equivalent of turning on 600,000 portable air conditioners. The new record broke the record set before the start of the 600-megawatt heatwave.

BC Hydro also found that a record number of air conditioning purchases this year would have been higher had there been more inventory on hand. Therefore, it is expected that many of these potential buyers will try to acquire housing out of season.

For those who plan to purchase air conditioning or upgrade their unit or system before next summer, BC Hydro recommends purchasing a heat pump.

A heat pump takes heat inside your home and releases it outside, and BC Hydro says some households could save more in the long run by using them for future cooling needs. In addition, in partnership with CleanBC, BC Hydro offers discounts of up to $ 2,000 for the installation of a heat pump.

BC Hydro also recommends purchasing an ENERGY STAR air conditioner, as it uses approximately 30-40% less energy than standard units.

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