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Extreme cold drives Quebec power demands


In Montreal, there were reports of burst city pipes due to the cold (courtesy: Frank Scheme)
In Montreal, there were reports of burst city pipes due to the cold (courtesy: Frank Scheme)

Staff writers

January 23, 2013 — Despite the Arctic grip on Quebec, residents are being asked to monitor their power consumption.

Temperatures dip to dangerous levels across Quebec
Temperatures dip to dangerous levels across Quebec

Bitter cold temperatures have descended on Quebec, prompting widespread windchill warnings across the province.

On Wednesday, Hydro Quebec turned off its iconic logo in a bid to conserve electricity.

The company says it is reducing heating and dimming the lights in its ownbuildings.

According to Environment Canada, Arctic air combined with moderate winds has resulted in extreme windchill conditions.

The intense cold is expected to persist across the province until the end of this week leaving residents struggling to stay warm.

In Montreal, there were reports of burst city pipes as temperatures plummeted to -26C, with the windchill projected at -38C. Power failures were reported around the province.

While most people are eager to crank up their heat, residents are being urged to reduce energy use during peak hours.

Officials expect power consumption to peak at 39,000 megawatts this week, which would beat the previous record of 37, 717 megawatts reported on January 24, 2011.

Hydro Quebec is asking for reduced power usage during these peak hours:

  • Wednesday, January 23: from 7 am to 9 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm.
  • Thursday, January 24: from 7 am to 9 am.

With files from the Canadian Press

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