SaskPower sets new electricity demand record as temperatures climb


Temperatures soared across Saskatchewan this week, and so did the province’s demand for electricity.

A heat wave across the province pushed the thermometer above 30 C in some places, sending many residents to their air conditioners.

SaskPower felt that trend on July 13, at 5:22 p.m., when they observed a new summer demand record for electricity of 3,551 megawatts (MW).

With the extreme heat anticipated to remain for several days, it is possible that another new record could be set within the week.

“Saskatchewan is no stranger to extreme temperatures, and with every new demand record set, SaskPower continues to provide stable, reliable power for our customers,” Kory Hayko, Vice President of Transmission and Industrial Services at SaskPower said in a press release.

“We have a number of protocols and contingencies in place to ensure that throughout this current heatwave, SaskPower’s system will deliver the power our customers need.”

At peak, SaskPower registered approximately 260 MW of generation coming from wind facilities and 8 MW coming from solar facilities. SaskPower also had adequate power reserves throughout the peak hours, should demand increase further.

Heating and cooling homes represents a significant portion of a customer’s power bill. SaskPower offers a number of helpful tips to help conserve electricity throughout the hot summer months:

• Ensure your air conditioner and furnace are operating as efficiently as possible by having this equipment inspected routinely by a licensed professional

• Consider investing in a programmable or smart thermostat to ensure your home is being heated or cooled only when needed (for every degree that air conditioning is lowered for an eight-hour period, customers could save up to two per cent on power costs)

• Close blinds and window coverings during the daytime to keep the heat out, and ensure all doors and windows are closed tightly

• Delay activities that produce heat and moisture, such as dishwashing or laundry, until later in the day or into the evening when temperatures are cooler

The previous record was set on June 30 of last year and was 3,547 MW. The difference of 4 MW is the equivalent of approximately 4,000 average Saskatchewan homes. The all-time demand record of 3,910 MW was set on December 30, 2021.