COVID-19: Electricity demand in some Canadian provinces has decreased by 15%
As of late, most of us have settled into the COVID-19 quarantine. Unsurprisingly, a lot has changed since the start of this quarantine besides our schedules and day-to-day lives. Electricity usage and electricity demand in Canada have been especially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After all, people being home more often has shifted things around in the energy sector such as when and how high peak demand for electricity occurs. Businesses reducing their hours or temporarily closing are an example of something that has affected energy consumption in Canada as a result of the coronavirus.
Regardless, keeping up to date with how the energy market is changing is important for making informed decisions regarding your utilities.
To see how coronavirus has affected electricity demand in your province, read on below:
According to data from the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), the average electricity demand for Alberta (Alberta Internal Load, also known as AIL) in the second week of March was around 9,990 MW in urban centers. In mid-April (the week of April 13), the average demand for the same areas was 9,301 MW, 10% down from week one, which was when the isolation started in Canada.
Overall, Ontario’s energy consumption has decreased. According to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in Ontario, the overall system peak demand has been reduced by 10-15% and the overall consumption of electricity to date has been approximately 10-12% lower than usual.
According to an article from CTV News, this is in part due to experts advising individuals to keep away from others. As a result, factories and other large users of electricity have closed or reduced production in efforts to comply with social distancing regulations. With such regulations in place, nearly 80% of commercial load will be impacted by COVID-19 combat measures, says the IESO.
However, not all forms of energy consumption have decreased in Ontario. Individuals staying at home to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 has likely contributed to the IESO finding that the residential peak demand in Ontario has increased by 2%, while energy consumption has increased by 4%. More specifically, multi-residential units are experiencing up to 1 to 5% in daily peak demand and 1 to 7% increased in overall consumption.
Electricity consumption in Quebec has taken a large hit – according to an article by CTV News, consumption in products and services (including electricity) has dropped from 40 to 50 percent. Due to this drop in consumption, the l’Association des distributeurs d’energie du Quebec (ADEQ) has concerns that this may affect service stations in certain regions of Quebec and leave some communities without power.
According to BC Hydro, the overall commercial electricity load in British Columbia decreased around 13% in comparison to the three-year average for the same two-week period. More specifically, electricity use has fallen 27% for hotels, 29% for the restaurant sector and 30% for recreation facilities.
In response to the COVID-19 forcing small businesses to temporarily close, BC Hydro has introduced the COVID-19 relief fund to which eligible small businesses can apply to have their electricity costs waived for up to 3 months. Residential consumers are also potentially eligible for the COVID-19 relief fund if they have lost their employment or income due to the pandemic.
Overall, Manitoba Hydro, the regulated electricity provider in Manitoba, has seen a 6% reduction in daily peak electricity demand in the province as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in part due to the temporary closure of several businesses and downtown offices in efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Learn more about your energy options in Canada
Now that you’re up to date with the changes in electricity demand in Canada, it may be a good time to compare energy rates between different energy providers to make sure you’re paying for the best electricity and natural gas plans.
At EnergyRates.ca, we can help you compare energy rates between all the different providers in your area and help you find the best rates. Using the tool is simple and free – all you have to do is fill in the energy service you’re looking for and your postal code in the form above.
Plus, visiting EnergyRates.ca is a great way to get the latest information on the Canadian energy market, as well as an unbiased source to get useful tips regarding your energy consumption.