#JustCurious Has power and water use increased amid COVID-19?
REGINA -- Many of us have spent a lot more time at home since Saskatchewan reported its first case of COVID-19 on March 12.
Our viewer, Bonnie, was #JustCurious how that has impacted water and power use in the City of Regina.
SaskPower says between March 15 and May 22, energy consumption was down about 6.6 per cent compared to the same time period last year. The Crown said its figures show residential power usage is up slightly, while commercial and industrial are down, but cautions that without the complete deployment of their new smart metres, it can’t give exact figures yet. Most meters in the city are still being read manually and readings need to be confirmed.
We’re home more so it stands to reason that we’d be using more water, right? Well, yes and no. The city says water use is more dependant upon the weather than it is self isolation during the pandemic. Officials say they’ve seen a small increase of about three per cent in residential water use versus this time last year. Commercial and industrial use tell us a different tale. They’re not all at full capacity, so they’re using less. Far less. Commercial use, according to the city, is down about 40 per cent when compared to 2019.
The City and SaskPower say that once we move into phases three, four and five of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, and we get back to our normal routines, their usage should return to what they’d consider normal volumes.