December 28, 2021

-Global News

Albertans are being asked to consider ways they can conserve power during the extreme cold weather.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which manages and operates the provincial power grid, declared an Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 at 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The AESO said “extreme weather affecting the operations of some generation facilities” prompted the move.

An Energy Emergency Alert Level 2 means the system is using reserves.

“With the extreme cold affecting some generation facilities, you can help by turning off your holiday house lights early tonight,” the AESO suggested in a tweet.

At around 2 a.m. Tuesday, the AESO said it had returned to “normal grid conditions.”

However, the operator asked Albertans to consider how they can help conserve energy through the cold snap, including:

  • Turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances
  • Minimizing the use of air conditioning/space heaters
  • Delaying the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Using cold water for washing clothes (Most of the energy used goes to heating the water). Only running full loads helps too
  • Cooking with your microwave, crockpot or toaster oven instead of the stove
  • Limiting the use of kitchen or bathroom ventilation fans
  • Using motion detector lights in storage areas, garages, and outdoors when possible
  • Working on a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops are more energy efficient than desktop units).

Environment Canada had all of Alberta and most of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, along with parts of Manitoba and Ontario, under extreme cold weather warnings.

The wind chill can range between -40 C and -55 C in Edmonton and Calgary, the agency said. Extreme cold could persist into next week, the agency added.

Environment Canada issued the extreme cold warning for all of Alberta on Sunday.