Yet Another Record for Power Use in Saskatchewan

January 13, 2017

Record broken for third time in a month

With a week of extreme cold warnings came yet another new peak in power consumption for Saskatchewan. At 5:51 p.m. on Jan. 13, Saskatchewan homes and businesses reached 3,747 megawatts (MW) in power use.

The previous record of 3,726 MW was reached on Dec. 16, which in turn had beaten the 3,710 MW record set only four days earlier. In total, the record was increased by 37 MW in the past month, or the equivalent power use of 37,000 homes. New peak records have only been set 11 times in the past decade.

"We've become used to seeing this record beaten every winter as Saskatchewan grows. With new technology, we're also seeing each household and business use more power," said Mike Marsh, SaskPower President and CEO. "We've never seen new peak load records being set several times in a month. That's why it's so crucial that we keep updating and growing our power grid. We need to make sure our customers have the power they need, when they need it."

Future records will increasingly be met by renewable sources as SaskPower plans to double its renewable capacity from 25% today to as much as 50% by 2030. Growing demand will also be met by baseload power sources such as the new Chinook Natural Gas Power Station to be built near Swift Current. Chinook will bring 350 MW into service by 2020 and by providing power 24/7, will allow the growth of intermittent sources like wind and solar.

In extreme temperatures, SaskPower's customers have the power to conserve power and save on their bills:

  • Turn down the thermostat, especially when no one is home. Changing the temperature of your home by even a few degrees can make a big difference. For every degree you lower your thermostat overnight for an eight-hour period, you can save up to two per cent on your heating costs.
  • Plug in your car with a timer. Your car only needs to be plugged in for four hours. Use a block heater timer to save around $25 a year
  • Turn off the lights. Shorter days and longer nights mean interior lights in your home are on longer. Remember to turn out the lights when you leave a room. Better yet, cut down the power they use by about three quarters by using LED light bulbs.

At a glance...

  • New peak of 3,747 MW set Jan. 12, 2016.
  • Records were also set Dec. 12 and Dec. 16, 2016.

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