FortisBC warns that energy use can spike with cold weather

Jan 13, 2020

Awareness of how the cold affects home heating key to managing energy use

Surrey, B.C. - With much of B.C. experiencing extremely cold winter weather, FortisBC would like to remind its customers that taking precautions to reduce heat loss can help them stay comfortable, use less energy and reduce winter heating bills. 

Heating accounts for the most energy use in a home. This use typically spikes during periods of cold weather as furnaces, baseboard heating and heat pumps cycle more frequently to maintain consistent and comfortable temperatures inside homes. With heating appliances running more often, more energy is used.

In fact, FortisBC typically sees demand for natural gas, the most commonly used energy for space heating, triple in the winter compared to the summer months. For customers who use electricity for home heating, use can increase by approximately 80 per cent.

That means any heat lost is also money lost. Draftproofing and sealing leaks, usually around windows and doors, as well as turning down the heat in unused rooms, have the most potential to save on space heating. 

By using programmable thermostats and setting them to reduce temperatures overnight or while the home is empty, as well as only heating rooms that are in use, can save up to 15 per cent on home heating bills. FortisBC also recently completed a pilot program for connected or ‘smart’ thermostats and found that when used properly, they lowered natural gas use by about 3.5 per cent and electricity use by 4.5 per cent.

Customers can monitor and better understand their energy use using tools available on their online FortisBC account. They can also choose billing options that avoid seasonal variations on their bills. Anyone with concerns about their bill can contact FortisBC to make payment arrangements if needed. 

Customers looking for additional ways to save energy in their home or manage their heating bills can get help from FortisBC. Income-qualified homeowners may be eligible for additional services, such as a no-cost assessment of their home, and furnace or insulation upgrades. Find information about this and other helpful tips and programs at fortisbc.com.


heatloss2

This thermal image of patio doors shows how much heat is lost during cold weather, especially around molding and trim.

 

Media contact

Nicole Brown
Corporate Communications Advisor 
FortisBC
Phone: 250-469-6078
Email: nicole.brown@fortisbc.com
fortisbc.com
@fortisBC
24-hour media line: 1-855-322-6397

 

FortisBC is a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity and propane. FortisBC employs more than 2,200 British Columbians and serves approximately 1.2 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,200 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 48,700 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business. FortisBC uses the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. Additional information can be accessed at fortisinc.com or sedar.com.