Random Topic Thursday – Electricity use peaking


Cold nights, warm homes!

It’s cold in British Columbia, and not just by BC standards!
Winter storm warnings, snow fall warnings, cold weather advisories all trickled throughout
parts of the province the last week and more as some parts of the province hit temperatures in the minus 20s and 30s.

Enevitabily that leads to people sheltering at home and spikes in electricity.

Predictably B.C. Hydro released the following update:
“Demand for electricity is expected to remain high this week as the cold snap continues, and B.C. Hydro is preparing for near-record breaking peak loads,”

Highest demand in winter months is understandably around 4pm to 8pm on weekday evenings.
It’s noted that in BC during winter months, residential electricity can increase up to 88 per cent.

What can I do?!

As David Suzuki recently popped by Calgary speak to a crowd of teachers last week, I am going to talk about conservation today.

The local media labeled his visit as a slap in the face to Alberta’s Oil Industry and his anti-pipeline rhetoric certainly can be toxic at times to a province soured by seemingly endless economic “interference”.

But, in the spirit of environmentalists, I too feel there are small things we can do in the name of conservation to help reduce our impact on the electric grid.

Here’s your Kelly Hall Top Five:

  1. Use natural light &/or task lighting as well as Turn Off Unnecessary lights – I love natural light, and lucky for me have south facing windows…. they’re WIDE OPEN and light is flowing!
  2. Take shorter showers – (This is a hard one for me but I’m also told long hot showers are also drying out my skin in the winter months.. so I’ll give it a try!)
  3.  Manage the Thermostat – I think my dad just had a shiver in Moose Jaw at the thought of me in charge of a thermostat!, However! If you have electric heat, lowering your thermostat by two degrees can save 5% on your heating bill.
  4. Wash Laundry in Cold – I’ve been doing this for a few months now and haven’t noticed a change in my clean clothes, but my bills are cheaper! and I found $5 in my pants pocket!
  5. Hang your laundry to dry – I now have one of those plastic-foldy-hanger thingys and have been trying to use the dryer A LOT less… Keep you posted on results!

Bad news for ‘activists’

As Politicians and Fame seekers continue to argue over pipeline prospects to stacks of microphones, as fringe “activists” try to convince you that either ALL Energy is terrible!

Sorry, but a quick tangent here — Your TESLA or similar vehicle is currently being charged by?….. Yup, you guessed it… electricity! … And I’ve got bad news for you… currently… electricity is still brought to you by… COAL! And LOTS OF IT!


Almost 10% of Canadian Electricity is still generated from COAL… So depending on where you live, you may feel your making a “green” choice with your electric car, only to be charging it with the very thing you may be “against”….

Bad news again BC… where is 43% of Canadian Coal produced… yup.. British Columbia *as of 2016 from Natural Resources Canada.

In 2016 Canada produced almost 61 mega tonnes of the stuff… and the coal we DIDN’T USE was mostly exported to Japan, South Korea, and China…. where I’m sure they used it ONLY as stocking stuffers at Christmas Time!

Don’t kick and scream, ACT!

What’s my point?  Well because I don’t think people are being INTENTIONALLY ignorant, I’m not going to call these people the ‘hypocrite’ word… In fact, that is why I created Energyspotlight.ca in the first place! To have a discussion with people who don’t always agree with me.

Let’s look at some realities: My electricity mix is not as “green” as I’d like it to be… I drive a truck… I still use a blender.. a lot! But I also take the train when I can, and love to ride my bike when I get the chance… I understand that making small changes can lead to big, BIG changes!

But I also realize that coming to a city like Calgary and telling people they’re irresponsible and the pipelines they build are killing polar bears is NOT a way to affect change… at least not in my opinion..

So turn off the lights when you don’t need them, crack the windows when it’s sunny…. and yes, drive your car when you need to!

That’s your Random Thought Thursday.

I’ll be making a smoothie!

Kelly Hall

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