Quebec has broken several electricity consumption records for nearly two weeks.
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Hydro-Québec spokesperson Jonathan Cote explained that Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. Hydro-Québec recorded simultaneous consumption of 39,415 megawatts, a record for a weekend day.
On January 11, the county broke the 2014 record by reporting electricity consumption of 39,994 megawatts. Friday morning, it was smashed again while the county recorded a simultaneous consumption of 40,380 megawatts.
The reason for all these records is simple. “When the cold wave persists for several days, as is the case now, the buildings thermosphere is less efficient,” explained Mr. Côté. Thus, Quebecers have to increase heating in order to stay warm, which leads to increased consumption.
“The last time we had such a cold winter was in 2004,” Jean-Philippe Begin, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said Friday. While Quebec has been suffering from a severe cold snap since Thursday night, it is not surprising to see demand for electricity consumption peaking.
Data scrambled due to the pandemic
In addition, the data is also influenced by the daily habits of Quebecers. “The pandemic has confused the cards,” said Jonathan Côté, adding that the habits of Quebecers have changed due to remote work. “There are now more people working on Saturday morning,” he said.
A Hydro-Québec spokesperson concluded that this is an atypical period due to the pandemic and freezing temperatures.