With the freezing cold temperatures smothering most of the province for the past two weeks, it came as no surprise to SaskPower they saw a jump in demand toward the end of January.
"We did see high power consumption during some of those, particularly cold evenings," said SaskPower's Jordan Jackle. "But it really wasn't anything that, for example, was record-breaking."
The record Jackle is referring to came back on December 29, 2017, on another extremely cold night where the temperature dipped down around -30° without the windchill. Power consumption across the province reached 3,792 megawatts, which remains the single-day consumption record.
The SaskPower spokesperson said the cold weather isn't necessarily everything that drives up energy demands.
"There's a lot of things that play into that. It depends on the industrial load at any given point combined with the residential load as well," Jackle explained. "Over the past couple of weeks, we haven't seen any of those records broken."
Oddly enough, the peak demand day for January 2019 came on January 18, which wasn't part of the cold snap we experienced.
Generally speaking, we are breaking records every single year for power consumption. For the past 10 years or so, we've upped the ante each winter with how much energy we use as a province. Jackle offers a few reasons for the trend.
"We are seeing records in general broken pretty much every single winter and there's a couple different reasons for that. First of all, we continue to add more and more customers — more businesses, more people and houses to the grid. The second thing is more behaviour based. We're actually using more power now than we once did," he noted.
For now, SaskPower and furnaces in Saskatchewan are getting a bit of a reprieve with a few days of more mild temperatures. Jackle said they will be watching the forecast closely as more frigid weather looks to be on the horizon.
If this weather stands, the second month of 2019 could see yet an even higher demand for power than the first.