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Why Albertans were asked to conserve electricity Wednesday night

Edmonton skyline. Edmonton skyline.

The Alberta Electric System Operator issued an alert on Wednesday as a result of "very tight supply conditions" on the province's power grid, the company explained on Thursday.

AESO asked people to conserve electricity during the peak hours of 4 to 7 p.m. due to a combination of hot weather, low wind and two thermogenerators falling offline.

"When we have extreme temperatures, either heat or extreme cold, that drives up power demand. So we were just north of 11,000 megawatts yesterday, which is pretty high. Not record demand, but high," said Leif Sollid, AESO's communications manager.

The grid alert is "kind of an early warning system," Sollid said and he's confident AESO will continue to meet demand as hot weather grips the province in the coming days.

AESO is asking Albertans to "do their part" and follow these conservation tips:

  • Turn off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances
  • Minimize the use of air conditioning/space heaters
  • Delay the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after peak hours
  • Use cold water for washing clothes—most of the energy used goes to heating the water (only running full loads helps too)
  • Delay charging electric vehicles and/or plugging in block heaters
  • Cook with your microwave, crockpot or toaster oven instead of the stove
  • Limit the use of kitchen or bathroom ventilation fans
  • Use motion-detector lights in storage areas, garages, and outdoors when possible
  • Work on a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop units) Top Stories

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