Cranking the thermostat at home, plugging in vehicles to protect against the wicked cold and extended shopping mall hours for Christmas combined to set a new energy consumption record on Monday in Red Deer.
“Sure enough, we had a new record,” said Ligong Gan, manager of Red Deer’s Electric Light and Power Department on Tuesday.
The city reached a new peak demand of 138.8 megawatts at late afternoon.
He predicted Monday the city would see a new record after the morning temperature plummeted to -40.5, eclipsing the old record for Dec. 14 of -35.6 set in 1926.
The temperature continued to hover in the -30 range for the entire day.
“If we don’t have cooler temperatures like this before Christmas, this is going to be the peak for the year, probably until December of next year.”
Just one week ago, the city reached a new peak demand of 137 megawatts during the supper hour.
On Monday, city staff were on standby in case of any electricity emergencies, but there were no major problems with the system, he said.
“Before the cold snap, we switched on all the equipment that we have on the system to provide ample capacity.”
Gan expected electric usage to drop Tuesday as Red Deer warmed up to a more seasonal temperature.