Extreme cold put Alberta’s power supply at risk on Saturday, January 13. An Alberta Emergency Alert was issued around 6:44PM. However, Albertans were quick to respond. By 8:40PM, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declared the alert ended. 

“Almost immediately after the alert was issued, the AESO saw a significant 100 MW drop in electricity demand, which amounted to a 200 MW reduction within minutes. The Grid Alert was declared ended at 8:40 p.m,” said AESO in a news release. 

“The province-wide response to the call for energy conservation was tremendous,” says Mike Law, President and CEO of the AESO. “On behalf of the AESO, I would like to extend my thanks to all Albertans who responded to the call for action, which ensured we didn’t have to progress to rotating outages, keeping our grid up and running for all Albertans.”

The recent extreme cold weather is expected to continue tonight which will continue to put additional stress on the province’s power grid. AESO says you can help by reducing electricity during peak hours which is from 4PM to 7PM.  

Here are some tips: 

  • Turn off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances
  • Minimize the use of air conditioning/space heaters
  • Delay the use of major power-consuming appliances such as washers, dryers and dishwashers until after peak hours
  • Use cold water for washing clothes—most of the energy used goes to heating the water (only running full loads helps too)
  • Delay charging electric vehicles and/or plugging in block heaters
  • Cook with your microwave, crockpot or toaster oven instead of the stove
  • Limit the use of kitchen or bathroom ventilation fans
  • Use motion-detector lights in storage areas, garages, and outdoors when possible
  • Work on a laptop instead of a desktop computer (laptops are more energy-efficient than desktop units)