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As temperatures rise, condo dwellers could be paying more to beat the heat: BC Hydro

Click to play video: 'Energy saving tips for glass condos' Energy saving tips for glass condos
BC Hydro Spokesperson Mora Scott shares some tips for keeping energy costs down in the summer if you live in a glass condo tower – Jun 25, 2021

As parts of the province brace for a heat wave, a new BC Hydro report suggests that people living in condos are at an energy disadvantage when it comes to using air conditioning.

The report suggests condo dwellers may be at a disadvantage because they’re more likely to use portable air conditioning units, which are less energy efficient than a central A/C system or heat pump and use twice as much energy as a window unit.

The use of air conditioning in condos and apartments has risen by nearly 70 per cent over the past decade, according to BC Hydro.

Click to play video: 'Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’' Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’
Health officials warn about risks of coming ‘heat dome’ – Jun 24, 2021

People who live in glass towers face additional challenges, according to BC Hydro spokesperson Mora Scott.

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“Glass towers are actually really poor insulators,” she said.

“So they let the cool air escape and then they actually reflect heat into the building, making those units much, much hotter and obviously driving up electricity costs.”

Read more: British Columbians burning big bucks to stay cool with air conditioners, BC Hydro says

Scott said there are a couple of things condo dwellers can do to reduce costs, such as purchasing an air conditioner with an “Energy Star” designation.

Click to play video: 'Air conditioning use spikes in B.C.' Air conditioning use spikes in B.C.
Air conditioning use spikes in B.C – Jul 13, 2018

“The other thing is just keep a close eye on where you’re setting the thermostat,” Scott said. “We recommend somewhere between 23 and 25, and that’ll help keep your costs down.”

Scott said BC Hydro has seen an increase in demand this month.

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“This week, we actually have already broken our June record,” she said. “And as we head into these extremely hot temperatures this weekend, we actually expect our all-time summer record to fall as well.”

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