Manage your winter electricity usage
Our BC winters can get truly chilly, prompting many of us to crank up the heat at home. Unfortunately, this typically means higher electricity bills. We know any increase in bills can make it more difficult to manage household finances–so we're here to help.
How your energy is used
Electricity use can increase as much as 80 per cent in the winter months for our customers if they are heating their homes with electricity.1 That’s because on colder, darker winter days it takes more energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature–we leave the lights on longer, and we sometimes use space heaters.
Consider how much energy is used in heating your home and water. Depending on consumption, space and water heating can account for approximately 76 per cent2 of your home’s total annual energy use.
Check out the chart below for a breakdown of the average energy usage in homes across BC.
Note, this chart includes statistics for all energy sources, not just electricity. Space cooling can account for a larger percentage of energy use for customers in the interior who cool with electricity.
2Source: Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency, Comprehensive Energy Use Database, residential sector, BC, Table 2: Secondary Energy Use, 2016
By taking simple steps to save energy, you can reduce your usage and help save on your electricity costs. Here are some simple ways to manage your use this winter.
Tracking your electricity use
With Account Online you can see how your electricity use changes at different times and view your use weekly, daily and hourly. View interactive charts and comparisons to previous billing periods and identify periods of high usage and find ways to save energy. Try it today.
Making your home more energy-efficient
There are a number of things you can do at home to save on electricity and to extend the life of your appliances – from how you use your appliances to low-cost techniques such as draftproofing and weatherizing your home. Saving energy and money is easy with our tips and how-to videos. Find out what you can do.
Harnessing the power and savings of a heat pump
A heat pump is the most affordable way to heat your home with electricity. Air source heat pumps are efficient, reliable and quiet and can heat your home even when it’s -25 °C outside.
Air source heat pumps work with your existing baseboards or electric furnace and could save you about $1,400 annually on space heating costs.3,4 Learn more about heat pumps and available rebates.
Saving with high-efficiency rebates
We have rebates if you want to make energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Plus, we offer free conservation programs for income-qualified customers. Learn more about these programs.
We’re here to help
We understand that receiving higher than expected bills can be challenging. We’re here to help you year-round with your bill concerns. Together, we’ll find solutions that may include payment arrangements. For example, we could switch you to monthly billing or sign you up for our Equal Payment Plan, which offers fixed monthly payments that avoid seasonal highs and lows.
Call us: 1-866-436-7847, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
1Source: 2012 FortisBC Residential End-Use survey: Energy Consumption for Electric Only Single Family Dwellings, Electrically Heated House – 20,800 kWh per year average use. Calculation compares May - August to January - April.
2Source: Natural Resources Canada, Office of Energy Efficiency, Comprehensive Energy Use Database, residential sector, BC, Table 2: Secondary Energy Use, 2016.
3Source: FortisBC energy calculator, assuming a 2,000 square foot home, with baseboards at least 15 years old and an air source heat pump installed with an HSPF of 10.
4Source: FortisBC energy calculator, assuming a 2,000 square foot home, with an existing electric furnace at least 15 years old and an air source heat pump with an HSPF of 10.