More of B.C.'s air was conditioned this summer than ever before | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More of B.C.'s air was conditioned this summer than ever before

An air conditioner attached to a home in B.C.
September 04, 2021 - 2:10 PM

British Columbians have achieved a new high score for air conditioning usage.

“Record-breaking temperatures and an increased number of air conditioning users drove summer peak hourly demand – the time of day British Columbians use the most power – to all-time highs,” B.C. Hydro said in a press release.

“In fact, during the extreme heat wave in June, records were broken on three consecutive days. The highest ever summer peak hourly demand was recorded on June 28, 2021 when demand reached 8,568 megawatts, shattering the record that was set before the heat wave began by more than 600 megawatts – the equivalent of turning on 600,000 portable air conditioners.”

READ MORE: How you can beat the Thompson-Okanagan heat wave without air conditioning

New research from B.C. Hydro found in the past 10 years, the number of British Columbians using air condition increased from 25% to 40% – and that was before a new survey was conducted, which found that 20% of residents purchased or upgraded their air conditioning this summer – a new record for a single summer. B.C. Hydro learned that even more units would have been purchased had more stock been available.

Traditionally, B.C.’s cooler summers result in lower air-conditioner averages than the rest of Canada.

“However, with the extreme temperatures recorded this summer, new information shows the gap has closed – and quickly,” the press release said. “For example, air conditioning use appears to have grown almost as much in one summer as it did in the previous 10 years combined.”

For anybody considering purchasing or upgrading their air conditioning before next summer, B.C. Hydro recommends purchasing a heat pump, and even offers rebates up to $2,000 for one.

“Some households could save more in the long run by adopting heat pumps to meet their future air conditioning,” according to the Crown corporation.

B.C. Hydro also recommends using Energy Star air conditioners, claiming they use 30 to 40% less power than standard units.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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