Individual measures can lessen demand on electrical grid

B.C. Hydro expects increased power usage plus the possibility of power outages.

With the province experiencing freezing temperatures and snow, B.C. Hydro expects increased power usage plus the possibility of power outages.

Outages happen more frequently when heavy snow accumulates causing tree branch breakage – more common in B.C. because there is three times the number of trees per kilometre of power line compared to any other utility in North America.

Have an emergency kit on hand with flashlights, a battery operated radio, warm clothing and blankets. To report an outage, please call 1-888-769-3766 or *49376 on your cellphone.

B.C. Hydro has systems in place to meet the unusually high electricity demand, but with a few simple measures, everyone can contribute to lessening the pressure on the electrical grid while still staying warm and safe:

Timing is everything – Use energy-intensive household appliances  such as clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers and portable space heaters outside of the peak hours of 4-8 p.m.

Portable space heaters and safety – Portable space heaters can be effective to take the chill out of a small room or to heat a small area but are not efficient to heat large spaces or multiple rooms. Use your space heater safely: place it on a hard surface like concrete or ceramic tile floor and keep it away from bedding, drapes, furniture, books, and newspapers. Don’t leave the house or go to sleep with the space heater left on.

Keep the cold out and the heat in – Keep windows covered with closed blinds and drapes for an extra layer of window insulation. Window coverings can be a quick and cost-effective way to cut heat loss and block cold drafts. Easy-to-install window film provides an additional pane to keep heat in.

Install a programmable thermostat – Set the thermostat to automatically adjust temperatures at different times based on your family’s activities, ensuring electricity is not wasted when no one is home and the temperature is turned down when everyone is sleeping.

For more information, please go to www.bchydro.com/powersmart.