Albertans asked to conserve energy as province set to break record for second day in a row amid heat wave


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Alberta’s electric grid operator expects Monday’s summer energy use record will be broken again Tuesday as a heat wave continues to pummel the province.

Dennis Frehlich, vice president of grid reliability at the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), said in a news release the province saw an “unprecedented jump” in energy use on Monday, reaching 11,512 megawatts, beating the previous summer peak demand record of 11,169 MW.

“We’re on track to break that record for a second day in a row and so we’re asking Albertans to play their part to conserve energy,” he said.

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in Edmonton to hit a high of 36 C, but the humidex could make it feel like 41 C.

AESO is calling on Albertans to help conserve energy, especially between 4 and 7 p.m., to ensure adequate supply and reduce the possibility of power outages.

“In addition to helping conserve energy during this peak period, we’re asking Albertans to take action throughout the day by closing window coverings, lowering thermostats to pre-cool homes and avoiding using major appliances and charging electric devices, including electric vehicles, during the period of highest demand,” Frehlich said.

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Late Monday, Environment Canada also issued a special air quality statement for the Edmonton region, saying pollutants at the surface are building up over time because of stagnant weather conditions.

The agency said children, seniors, and people with heart or lung disease, like asthma or COPD – and active people exercising or working outdoors – may be harder hit by the pollution.

Even though leaving children, seniors or pets behind in vehicles introduces severe risks, Edmonton Fire and Rescue Services reported that on Sunday, it received one call of an animal locked in a vehicle, and three calls for people.

On Monday, when Edmonton reached a high of 34 C, that number rose to 9 animal calls and four involving people.

More to come…