More Edmontonians turning to AC as heatwave hits

With a heatwave hitting Edmonton, folks are using air conditioning units full time. It’s good news for HVAC specialists, who say they’ve been planning for this day for months. 

“It’s something that we prepare for this day all year long, so we’re talking about this first heat wave all the way back in January,” said Joe Kilcup, an installation manager.

Be careful what you wish for, while most are dreaming of hot temperatures in the middle of winter, Kilcup says his company is planning for what they say is the most lucrative time of year them, even in cold and snowy Edmonton. 

But as more people turn to AC, there’s added pressure on our electrical grid.

Edmonton power provider EPCOR warned Edmontonians online Monday, that a spike in temperatures could cause unexpected power outage.

But they clarified that a Sunday night power outage that impacted 15,000 people in south Edmonton was due to issues with a substation, not due to heat.

Kilcup says me over a 25 year career, he’s getting more and more calls for AC units, saying Edmonton is seeing more and more summer days like these.

“At the beginning of my career, air conditioning was not considered essential by many people at all. The other thing is that houses are being built a lot better, they hold their heat a lot better. So they hold their heat in the winter, but with the solar gain, they’re not releasing that heat — they don’t breathe like the old houses did,” he explained.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (ASEO) has sent out grid alerts in the past, to ask consumers to reduce power consumption. The most recent, in the spring forced rolling blackouts.

But since then, AESO says there has been work to increase baseload power as well as provincial government reforms to the electricity market around pricing and supply.

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