Yukon gobbled record power during Monday’s cold snap

As temperatures dropped Monday, Yukon used a record amount of energy. Yukoners consumed a peak of 83.69 megawatts at 5:53 p.m. that day. That beats the previous record of 83.43 megawatts set on Dec. 18, 2013.

As temperatures dropped Monday, Yukon used a record amount of energy.

Yukoners consumed a peak of 83.69 megawatts at 5:53 p.m. that day. That beats the previous record of 83.43 megawatts set on Dec. 18, 2013, according to Yukon Energy’s Janet Patterson.

Monday’s record is more than double what the territory would see during peak times in the warmer months. In the summer, during the breakfast or dinner hour, the grid might hit around 40 megawatts, Patterson said.

The broken record is for power usage on the entire Yukon grid. That includes all communities except Watson Lake, Old Crow, Burwash Landing, Beaver Creek and Destruction Bay.

Running on diesel isn’t cheap. According to Patterson, every hour that we produce one megawatt with diesel costs between $300 and $350.

For one hour over dinner Monday night, Yukoners paid up to $4,340 for back-up diesel.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the territory was still on backup diesel power to make up the extra juice.

The power company is asking Yukoners to try to limit their non-essential electricity use as much as possible during peak hours. That could mean using a timer on appliances and block heaters. Even turning off the appliances or lights you’re not using can help, Patterson said.

“When we burn diesel for any extended time, we encourage Yukoners to conserve where we can, and our staff do the same thing,” she said in an email.

“For example, as I write this I am sitting at my desk with an extra layer on instead of using an electric space heater. And I only have half my office lights on.”

In Whitehorse on Monday, temperatures dropped to -35.9 degrees Celsius, according to Environment Canada. In Dawson, they hit -41.2.

It’s supposed to get warmer soon. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are forecast to have lows of between -17 and -13 degrees in Whitehorse.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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