High rates bringing the heat

Hot InsideWhile it’s true that some Albertan summers have been winter-like in the past, we really can’t make that comparison after this year’s hot spell – except in one area – electricity usage.

There was a time when summer’s longer, warmer days meant that there was less demand on the grid than in winter – when colder, longer nights have us spending more time cuddled up around heaters with the lights turned on.

So what’s going on now?

Over the past few years, a new trend has emerged with summer demand for electricity getting very close to what we see in winter. There are probably a few factors at play, but it’s easy to see how, just like in the winter, weather can be a factor.

With the province-wide hot spell over the past couple of months, air conditioners, electric fans and probably refrigerators and freezers, have been increasingly called upon to help cool things off in our homes and offices.

People weren’t the only ones that felt the heat

The mercury’s climb also meant the electricity system had to work harder in hotter temperatures. At times generation plants had to be shut down for planned maintenance, or to prevent overheating. Like any commodity, this reduced electricity supply during a time of high demand may cause electricity rates to be higher.

What you can do

One of the ways to help with your electricity bill is to be aware and limit the use of unnecessary appliances or electronics during times of high demand. Check out these tips for controlling your consumption.

Another easy option is to check your electricity plan during times when the demand for electricity is high, and see if you can switch between the variable option (goes up and down based on market conditions) or a fixed rate (stays the same regardless of market conditions).

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