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Extreme cold and energy consumption: the worst of the season

Extreme cold and energy consumption: the worst of the season

Friday, January 21, 2022 4:00 pm – The cold has begun and Hydro-Québec has set a record for its electricity consumption. This Saturday, the temperatures will be so freezing that the government company is warning us.


Briefly :

  • The coldest temperatures prevail in the winter.
  • Record electricity consumption.
  • Hydro-Québec is asking families to reduce their energy consumption.

exceptional cold

Since the beginning of the year, Quebec has been engulfed in the cold. This situation is explained by the fact that the bottom of the atmosphere allows the arctic air to descend to the south of the border. This week, the governorate is witnessing the coldest temperatures of the season. As a result, Hydro-Québec is setting records in energy consumption. About ten days ago, the old brand dating back to 2014. This upward trend continues.

“This morning at around 8 a.m., the total consumption in Quebec was about 40,380 megawatts, the highest consumption ever recorded in Quebec,” explains Centrix Bouchard, a Hydro-Quebec spokeswoman. On January 11th we also set a new record close to 40,000 MW, and we had just over 39,900 MW. »

ask for help

The state enterprise asks the public to pay special attention to the consumption of electricity. Since the situation is exceptional, it is necessary to take exceptional measures to limit the effects of temperature extremes. On Saturday morning, the province of Quebec will see critical hours.

“Tomorrow morning (Saturday) we will still need to help residents, that is, if our customers are able to reduce their consumption, that will help us, assures Cendrix Bouchard. You have to understand that other than the fact that it is very cold, there is also that it has been cold for several days This affects the thermosphere of dwellings. Houses have a lower capacity to retain heat. So we will find ourselves in a situation that requires more electricity to heat these dwellings. It is special though, because the highest consumption peaks are usually observed on weekdays. But due to the pandemic, the routine is turned upside down and we find ourselves at home a lot and see peak consumption on the weekends which is very close to or nearly equal to the ones we see during the week.”

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make a difference

For a single household, the effect of a small reduction in its electricity consumption may seem insignificant. However, if all residents participate, there is a difference. On Friday, Hydro-Québec representatives noted that the efforts had paid off.

“If we look at this morning, we estimate that the population assistance has reached 400 megawatts as an effect of reducing consumption.”

The steps that have the greatest impact on reducing electricity consumption:
  • Reduce heating by 0.5 to 1 degree
  • shortening the shower

Interview with Rebecca Salomon, journalist at MétéoMédia