Direct Energy

Direct Energy

December 07, 2009 07:00 ET

Bone Chilling Cold May Set New Alberta Record for Peak Electricity Consumption

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 7, 2009) - Alberta has been plunged into a deep freeze by the current Arctic cold front gripping the province. The bone-chilling temperatures, in combination with the added electrical load of the Holiday Season, may cause a new record to be set for one-day peak electrical consumption on Monday, December 7th.

Mondays are normally the busiest day of the week for electrical consumption, and when you add the extra demand of hard-working furnace heating fans, automobile block heaters, and Holiday lighting displays, the current one-day consumption record of 9,806 MW, set just last year on December 15, 2008, may be exceeded.

Mike Donnelly, Director of Direct Energy Home Services, says there are numerous ways Albertans can keep power consumption down when the power grid is stressed from increased demand. Below are tips that consumers can follow to help save money on their power bills and reduce consumption while being mindful of the environment.

  1. Adjust your load: Try to use major appliances such as washers, dryers and dish washers during off-peak hours (after 7pm on weeknights or on weekends) when demand is lower.
  1. Use energy-saving light bulbs. A single 20 to 25 watt energy-saving bulb can last up to ten times longer than a normal bulb, uses up to 75 per cent less energy and provides as much light as a 100 watt ordinary bulb.
  1. Use efficient holiday lighting. Consider putting your holiday lighting display on a timer so that it turns off when everyone goes to bed or invest in more efficient LED strings of light bulbs.
  1. Automate! Install motion sensors or timers on external and decorative lights.
  1. Use your microwave: Microwaves use considerable less energy than ovens. Use one for cooking and reheating items.
  1. Unplug vampire electronics. Electronics that are plugged in but not in use still suck power from the outlet. Unplug anything you're not using and turn off power bars.
  1. Turn down electric heat. If your home is heated by electricity, turn down the temperature a few degrees and consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats are good for all forms of heating as they avoid unnecessarily heating costs. If you are a little chilly, layer on a sweater.
  1. Assess your energy usage: Have an energy assessment completed to determine how you can reduce your energy consumption. An energy assessment is necessary to secure rebates from the federal government initiating energy conversation initiatives. You can also take advantage of the federal government's home renovation tax credit.

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