British Columbians will use enough extra power to cook 1.5 million turkeys Christmas Day: BC Hydro

British Columbians are expected to use enough extra power on Christmas Day to cook 1.5 million turkeys.
British Columbians are expected to use enough extra power on Christmas Day to cook 1.5 million turkeys. Lew Robertson / Getty Images

Do you host your family’s annual holiday dinner?

If so, BC Hydro says you can anticipate a spike of as much as 15 per cent in electricity usage.

The Crown corporation says on Christmas Day last year, British Columbians used about 8,000 more megawatt-hours of power than they did on the same day the previous week.

That’s enough electricity to cook up about 1.5 million turkeys.

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Christmas isn’t the only big drain day. Boxing Day saw power usage spike by about 13 per cent, said BC Hydro.

In the week prior to Christmas Day, the Crown corporation said there is also a noticeable spike in evening power usage from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as cooking, baking and other holiday activities ramp up.

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According to a BC Hydro survey, making meals for guests is the top holiday priority for British Columbians, with 95 per cent of respondents planning to host family or friends and prepare a meal from scratch.

Six in 10 plan to indulge in holiday baking.

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And 20 per cent were worried about the impact of hosting guests on their electricity bill.

BC Hydro spokesperson Susie Rieder said there are a number of things hosts can do to keep their electricity bill down during the holidays.

That includes using microwaves or toaster ovens where possible and resisting the urge to turn up the thermostat.

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“That’s something you actually shouldn’t do when people come over — you should actually turn it down because the body heat, the oven, they all provide a lot of heat. So you can just turn down the temperature to 18 C,” said Rieder.

“Another thing you can do to save energy when hosting is to bake in batches … and no peeking as well, because it uses a lot of energy to open the energy and have that heat escape and let it re-heat.”

Other tips include making sure kitchen fridges are adjusted to the right temperature and tracking power usage through BC Hydro’s MyHydro app.

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