Hydro-Québec asks clients to cool demand for electricity during cold snap

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By the Canadian Press, Ottawa Citizen, January 17, 2019

As Quebec finds itself in the grip of a deep freeze, Hydro-Québec on Thursday appealed to its customers to reduce their consumption of electricity during high-use periods.

Those power consumption rush hours — between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. — are when Quebecers crank up their thermostats and electricity-devouring appliances. On Thursday, for example, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., Quebecers plugged in to use 35,979 megawatts of electricity. During cold snaps, consumption hovers around 38,000 megawatts, according to Hydro-Québec spokesperson Jonathan Côté.

To ease that crush, Hydro-Québec suggests that some household power use be delayed till later in the day.

The utility also suggests that customers reduce their heating use by 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, particularly in unused rooms, and if possible to limit hot water use by reducing their showering time by a minute and waiting until later in the day to use their dishwashers or washers and driers.