(File photo)

FortisBC warns of energy hikes as temperatures plunge in Okanagan

Take some precautions to reduce the heat loss in your home this winter

The deep cold has enveloped the Okanagan and the rest of the province.

FortisBC has warned that the sudden drop in temperatures can often be noticed late by homeowners and as a result, costs will increase more than necessary.

“Taking precautions to reduce heat loss can help (homeowners) stay comfortable, use less energy and reduce winter heating bills,” FortisBC said in a press release earlier this week.

READ MORE: Kelowna expected to warm up by the weekend

According to the FortisBC release, the demand for natural gas triples in the winter compared to the summer months throughout the province. Residences using electricity for heating use can increase almost 80 per cent.

Specifically in Kelowna and the West Kootenays on Jan. 14, electricity was up 35 per cent compared to last week and natural gas was up 50 per cent, which was 75 per cent higher than an average day in January.

Draftproofing and leak sealing are two ways that residences can cut the amount of heat lost in their homes, as heat lost equates to money lost. FortisBC recommends adding draftproofing or sealing to windows and doors, as well as to turn down the heating in unused rooms.

Programmable thermostats are also recommended by FortisBC.

“Setting (thermostats) to reduce temperatures overnight or while the home is empty, as well as only heating rooms that are in use, can save up to 15 per cent on home heating bills,” reads the release.

For more information, visit fortisbc.com.

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