Heat Wave Leads to New Summer Power Demand Record

August 10, 2018

With temperatures soaring above the 35 degree Celsius mark, Saskatchewan set a new summer power demand record of 3,520 megawatts (MW). The increase of 50 MW over the old summer record is equivalent to the amount of electricity needed for 50,000 homes.

“We’ve seen both summer and winter records set every year for a good while now. And if last summer is any indication, we could very well see another record before temperatures cool off heading into the fall,” said SaskPower Vice President of Transmission and Industrial Services Kory Hayko. “It’s not impossible we’ll break this record again in the coming days. It’s SaskPower’s responsibility to ensure that Saskatchewan people and businesses have the power they need to thrive. That’s what drives our investment of $1 billion every year to modernize and grow the province’s electrical system.”

The new record beats the previous summer peak of 3,470 MW, set last August after also being broken twice in July. The winter demand record is still higher at 3,792 MW, which was set on December 29, 2017. To meet growing power demand, SaskPower is expanding its generation capacity from approximately 4,500 MW now to 7,000 MW by 2030 while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2005 levels. To accomplish this, we will be significantly increasing the amount of renewables on our system.

Cooling and heating represents approximately a quarter of residential power bills. To reduce consumption and power bills during heat waves, SaskPower’s customers can:

  • Turn down or program the air conditioning when no one is home (for every degree that air conditioning is lowered for an eight-hour period, customers can save up to two per cent on their power costs);
  • Consider having their air conditioning unit inspected to make sure it is operating efficiently;
  • Keep the heat out by closing blinds and drapes, especially those with direct sunlight;
  • Delay chores that produce heat and moisture, like dishwashing and laundering, until the cooler parts of the day or evening; and
  • As with any time of the year, make sure lights, televisions and other electronics are turned off when no one's in the room. For example, a modern gaming console can use as much power as a refrigerator.

For more power saving tips, head to saskpower.com.

At a glance...

  • Saskatchewan’s new summer peak record of 3,520 MW was achieved at 5:55 p.m. on Aug. 9
  • That’s 50 MW more than the old record, which is equal to the amount of power needed for 50,000 Saskatchewan homes
  • The winter peak is still higher, but the gap is closing
  • Visit SaskPower.com for tips on power conservation

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