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British Columbians pampering pets with AC, says BC Hydro

BC Hydro data shows AC use increased by about 50 per cent over the past decade.
cat in AC
During the summer's record-breaking heat wave, BC Hydro reports residents were using 8,568 megawatts of power, the equivalent of 600,000 air conditioners.

BC Hydro says pets may be one reason why residential air conditioning use is on the rise in the province.

A survey conducted by the government-regulated power supplier found one-third of respondents said they use air conditioning specifically to keep their pets cool during summer months. Of those people, a quarter are leaving the AC on for pets even if they aren’t home. They also say costs are not a concern.

BC Hydro data shows AC use increased by about 50 per cent over the past decade from a quarter of British Columbians using it at home to nearly 40 per cent, the company said in a statement Aug. 9.

Running a central AC for nine hours a day can cost British Columbians around $300 in electricity costs over the summer months, BC Hydro added.

The company took the opportunity in its statement to recommend alternatives to keep pets cool.

BC Hydro first suggests a heat pump installation to cool homes. This will also save electricity use. It also suggests a window AC unit over a portable one. And, people should ensure gaps and cracks around doors, windows and power outlets are properly sealed.

When leaving a pet at home, shade windows and use fans to keep rooms cool, says BC Hydro. If your dog is in a crate while you're out, consider using a cooling mat inside.

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