B.C.’s Energy Systems Work Together to Meet Demand During Cold Snap

February 7, 2024

Statement attributed to Joe Mazza, vice president of energy supply and resource development, FortisBC:

“FortisBC’s customers’ demand for energy peaks during periods of colder weather, which is precisely what we experienced during the first cold snap of the winter season with an increase in demand for both gas and electricity.

“Customers rely on both the gas and electricity systems working together to deliver the energy they need to keep their homes and businesses safe and warm during times like this. To meet peak demand, an energy system either needs to have the ability to produce enough energy to meet it or have the ability to store energy to use when energy needs increase. An advantage of the gas system is its ability to easily and affordably store large volumes of energy, whether in dedicated gas storage, such as liquefied natural gas facilities or even within the lines themselves. As we look for ways to meet climate action goals, leveraging this existing gas infrastructure to carry renewable and low-carbon gases,1 such as Renewable Natural Gas2 and hydrogen in the future, will help reduce emissions while meeting British Columbia’s energy needs, especially during peak periods like winter.

“For our gas customers across the province, energy use can triple during the colder winter months. For our electricity customers in B.C.’s Southern Interior, electricity use can increase by approximately 25 per cent on the coldest days of the year. As the winter season continues, we encourage customers to monitor their energy use and take proactive steps to improve energy efficiency in their homes or businesses, which could help lower energy use and reduce monthly bills.”

  • FortisBC’s gas system delivered approximiately double the energy B.C.’s electricity systems provided on Friday, January 12, 2024 when the province was at its coldest, with electrical providers delivering 11,300 megawatts (MW) compared to FortisBC’s gas system delivering 21,763 MW at the highest point of demand. This is nearly 400 MW (or 1.8 per cent) more than December 22, 2022, the day when we saw similar temperatures and hit our previous record for peak demand on our gas system.
  • FortisBC’s electricity system reached peak hour delivery on January 13, 2024 at 818 MW. FortisBC set a new electricity system record during the cold snap on December 22, 2022, at 835 MW . That was 58 MW or seven per cent above the previous system peak, set on December 27, 2021 (777 MW).


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