Survey results announced by EnergyRates.ca in June 2019 suggest that Albertans are using more ACs compared to some years ago. The survey included questions about air conditioners in the last five and 10 years.
As the climate gets warmer, more Albertans own or intend to buy an AC. The share of consumers that owned or wanted to buy an air conditioner jumped from 19.9% in 2009 to around 33% this year (an increase of approximately 44%). Of course, such a change may not be enough to illustrate that summers are getting hotter in the province, but indicates an increasing energy consumption trend in the warmer months.
You can visit Air Conditioner Lab for all home air conditioning needs.
The EnergyRates.ca survey polled 400 Albertans online in May 2019, and found:
- 80.81% of Albertans didn’t have an AC 10 years ago.
- 75.76% of Albertans didn’t have an AC five years ago.
- 67% of Albertans don’t have or don’t want to buy an AC.
In other words, the share of Albertans who had an AC grew from 19.9% in 2009 to 24.4% in 2014, and then accounted for 33% of the provincial population in 2019.
Is peak electricity demand shifting from winter to summer?
Like most parts of Canada, Alberta is known for its severe winters. It’s not a coincidence that space heating accounts for 61% of the home energy use in the country, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). But how will the electricity grid react to the increasing demand during summer?
It may be too early to be sure about it, but there are already some challenges on the horizon when it comes to the Canadian electricity grid in the summer. Many reports and studies have been detailing such issues, which includes air conditioners, electric vehicles and the urban population growth.
Air conditioners: According to the study Cities and Smart Cities in Canada by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the increasing temperatures have the potential to shift the Canadian electricity grid dramatically from winter-peaking utilities to summer-peaking ones.
Electric cars: Electric vehicle sales are rising in Canada. In 2018, sales grew by 125% compared to 2017, and there are currently around 100,000 EVs on the road, as reported by Electric Mobility Canada (EMC). According to the IISD, such rapid growth is manageable for now, but brings uncertainty to the electricity grid in the long run. The demand, of course, could change from one province to another. In the United States, for example, the state of California would need 55% more electricity if all vehicles were electric, whereas Texas would need only 28% more, as reported by Forbes.
Population growth: By 2050, there will be 2 billion more people in the world, and around 70% of the global population will be living in urban areas. In cities such as Edmonton, the population will have more than doubled by then. According to the IISD, this higher density in urban areas will bring even more challenges to the energy distribution systems.
As the report suggests, some decades from now, distribution systems will have to deal with highly dense urban centers and, at the same time, longer suburban areas.
The survey presents interesting numbers related to changes the energy industry has been talking about for some time now. As both the climate and consumer behaviour changes, we can expect to see the electricity grid changing as well. These, of course, are only a few examples of why the Canadian electricity grid will change in the years ahead. However, more in-depth studies and reports are needed to evaluate such a shift.
About this survey
This survey was conducted by EnergyRates.ca and has not been sponsored by any third-party organization. Four hundred Albertans were randomly surveyed online from April 29 to May 16, 2019. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4% at 95% confidence. The sampling frame was derived from website visits between April and May. Further, all sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of errors, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
At EnergyRates.ca, we help consumers compare and find the lowest rates for electricity and natural gas. The website provides both residential and commercial users with a third-party review of electricity and natural gas retailers so they can choose the most advantageous product for their needs, including current rates, historical costs and information regarding energy plans.