With the increased outdoor temperatures last week, SaskPower saw a new summer record for electricity demand on July 13th.
The all-time record was set in the Winter of last year, but a spokesperson for SaskPower Joel Cherry explains they saw a summer record peak.
"The level that we hit was 3551 megawatts. That was just higher than the 3547 megawatts record that was set on June 30th last year. That was during that historic heatwave with extremely high temperatures across Western Canada."
Although this was only a small difference of 4 megawatts, Cherry says that is enougth to power 4000 homes. For comparison, Saskatchewan is currently running at 2635 megawatts of power which is quite a bit lower than the peak. The all-time record peak of 3910 megawatts was set at the end of 2021.
Cherry provides some insight into why the peak was reached at this time.
"The peak hours between 5 pm and 7 pm coincide with when people are coming home from work. So thousands of people are coming home at the same time more or less. They are turning up their air conditioning, turning on appliances, cooking dinner, and that sort of thing. And there's still some industrial load too."
In addition, Cherry adds that a lot of power consumed in Saskatchewan comes from large industrial customers. Over the course of that weekend, loads were still higher but they didn't hit another peak because industrial loads were a bit lower so they didn't have the same noticeable peak to the same extent as on the evening of a weekday.
Despite the summer record, SaskPower did have adequate power reserves to meet the increased demand that occurred. Cherry says they had comfortable reserves at that point and had a good generation coming in from wind facilities. They also had 8 megawatts of solar power coming in and he believes they were still able to export some power during the peak as well.
Residents can help keep their power bills down and reduce the strain on the grid by keeping their houses cool. This includes keeping blinds drawn, having a one-degree difference in their air conditioning, and reducing the use of appliances that produce heat during the hottest hours of the day.
Further energy saving tips can be found here