A summer of heatwaves saw B.C. residents cranking the AC. (File photo)

A summer of heatwaves saw B.C. residents cranking the AC. (File photo)

B.C. residents using air conditioning more than ever to beat the heat: BC Hydro

After a record-breaking summer, British Columbians now consider air conditioning a necessity.

This summer saw record-breaking temperatures across the province, but a new survey conducted on behalf of BC Hydro says residents also broke records for air conditioner use.

A survey of 800 British Columbians found that AC use grew over the summer of 2021 almost as much as it did over the past 10 years combined.

During the June heat wave, B.C. residents trying to cool off even managed to shatter the record for hourly power usage. June 28 saw the highest peak hourly demand at 8,568 megawatts which, according to BC Hydro, is equivalent to turning on 600,000 portable air conditioners at once.

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B.C. isn’t known for its summer heat, especially in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island, meaning AC units were more of a luxury until recently. Now, BC Hydro is reporting more residents consider them a necessity for beating the heat.

READ MORE: Record-breaking heat continues for a third day around Greater Victoria

More than 20 per cent of respondents bought or upgraded their air conditioning units this summer. The Crown corporation added the number would have been higher if there had been more stock available, but many stores sold out during weeks with peak temperatures.

For those who weren’t able to grab one of the coveted cooling units this year but are considering it for next summer, ​​BC Hydro recommends installing a heat pump, which can be rebated by CleanBC for up to $2,000, or installing an ENERGY STAR air conditioner that uses less power.

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BCHydroHeat wave