Measures urged to cut air conditioner use

The recent hot weather has meant a greater demand on energy as residents cool their homes in the late afternoons and early evenings.

The recent hot weather has meant a greater demand on energy as residents cool their homes in the late afternoons and early evenings.

However, the cooler indoor temperatures come at the expense of greater energy consumption and higher power bills.

“By taking simple steps to save energy, customers can reduce the load on their air conditioners or heat pumps, which can help their appliances last longer and help them avoid extra costs on their electricity bills,” said Tom Loski, vice-president of customer service at Fortis B.C.

Fortis advises customers to set their air conditioners to 25 or warmer, to use fans to only cool the rooms they are using, to keep their air conditioners or heat pumps well maintained and to avoid using heat-producing appliances during the hottest times of the day.

“We definitely notice a spike in usage with the hotter temperatures,” said Nicole Bogdanovic, communications specialist with Fortis.

While the electrical system can handle the load, the cost savings from conservation can be significant.

Those who are looking to install a home cooling system should consider an air source heat pump, since it is the most efficient way to heat or cool a house heated by electricity, Bogdanovic said.

Rebates and loans are available through Fortis.

Information about how an air conditioner may affect one’s electricity bill is available using the energy calculator at fortisbc.com/energycalculator.