UPDATE: 2 p.m.
After yesterday’s record-breaking heat, it’s no surprise power use was way up.
According to FortisBC, yesterday’s power load in the Okanagan was the highest for the season so far.
“Electricity use was 13 per cent higher on July 6 than June 30, the peak day for June, with demand at 465 megawatts yesterday compared to 411 megawatts on June 30,” explains Nicole Bogdanovic with Fortis.
“This includes electricity use from FortisBC customers in the Kelowna area and the South Okanagan.”
She adds that the peak load typically occurs at about 6 p.m. when people return home for the day.
To save yourself from steep power bills, Fortis has a few suggestions to counteract the high air-conditioning use.
- Cooking on an outdoor grill and saving the oven roasts for winter.
- Planting a shade tree on the southwest or southeast side of a home. A deciduous tree that loses its leaves in the fall to allow in sunlight during the winter months is a good choice.
- Considering an air source heat pump instead an air conditioner if it’s time to upgrade a home’s cooling system. Heat pumps maintain a steady indoor air temperature year-round, cooling in the summer and heating in the winter, while using less energy than air conditioners. Heat pumps are eligible for a rebate of up to $1,500 from FortisBC.
- Switching to a water-efficient shower head. With about 20 per cent of residential energy bills spent on water heating, this could save a family of four about $40 per year.
- Washing laundry in cold water and hang to dry; in this weather, clothes will dry in no time.
If you felt the temperature was scorching hot yesterday, you were right.
A total of 18 temperature records were broken on July 6 in the province, including four in the Okanagan Valley.
A strong, upper ridge of high pressure over southern B.C. this week is giving high temperatures,” writes Environment Canada.
At the top of the Okanagan Lake, Vernon hit a scorching 36.9 C, breaking an 111-year-old record set in 1906 of 36.1.
According to Environment Canada, Kelowna hit a high of 37.3 C smashing the previous July 6 record set in 1968 of 34.4 C.
In Penticton, the mercury hit 36.5 C, breaking the previous 1942 record of 34.4 C.
Further south, Osoyoos tied their previous record set in 1968 of 37.8 C.
For the last few days and through to the weekend Environment Canada has issued a special hot weather statement.
Temperatures are expected to continue to reach the mid to upper 30s through the weekend. Overnight conditions will also remain warm.
Slightly cooler conditions are expected early next week as the ridge weakens and moves to the east.
The heat combined with the warm and dry weather from June has dramatically increased the fire danger rating across much of Southern B.C.
A fire is currently burning near 100 Mile House that reached 1,200 hectares is one day.
Check out the list below for the rest of the records broken;
- Castlegar Area 37.9 (PREVIOUS Record 37.2 In 1968)
- Clearwater Area 36.4 (PREVIOUS Record 35.6 In 1975)
- Clinton Area 29.9 (PREVIOUS Record 28.6 In 2015)
- Hope Slide Area 29.7 (PREVIOUS Record 28.0 In 2015)
- Kamloops Area 38.5 (PREVIOUS Record 37.2 In 1906)
- Mackenzie Area 28.9 (PREVIOUS Record 28.3 In 2015)
- Merritt Area 35.7 (PREVIOUS Record 34.4 In 1975)
- Nakusp Area 35.4 (PREVIOUS Record 33.9 In 2007)
- Nelson Area 37.8 (PREVIOUS Record 35.0 In 1922)
- Prince George Area 30.6 (TIED Previous Record 30.6 In 1920)
- Puntzi Mountain Area 31.9 (PREVIOUS Record 31.1 In 1975)
- Squamish Area 29.0 (PREVIOUS Record 28.5 In 2011)
- Williams Lake Area 31.0 (PREVIOUS Record 30.0 In 1975)