Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Vaughan — The extreme cold weather this winter is expected to impact electricity bills but PowerStream says there are some simple steps to reduce consumption and minimize any increases.

This past month has been one of the coldest on record for most of Ontario and the below average temperatures for this time of year are expected to continue through the week.

Furnaces have been operating overtime in order to compensate for the frigid weather, which will more than likely translate in an increase in electricity bills, especially for those customers who use electric heat.

PowerStream is recommending customers take the following measures as a means to reduce their electricity consumption resulting from the cold weather:

• Open the blinds on the south side of your home during sunny days, but keep the blinds closed on cloudy days and at night.

• Use a programmable thermostat and set it to 20°C when you're at home and 18°C when sleeping or away.

• Turn off non-essential lights, appliances, electronics and other equipment

• Postpone, whenever possible, using electric appliances such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment during on-peak or mid-peak price periods.

• Check to see that weatherstripping around your doors, fireplace dampers and attic hatches are in place and intact.

• Check your furnace filter and replace immediately if needed.

• Keep supply and return air vents clear of furniture and appliances so your furnace can work more efficiently. The company is also encouraging customers to visit its website at for more information on energy conservation.

The Weather Network has reported that this winter ranks as one of the top-five coldest winters for many regions in Canada.

Meteorologists say the cold is due to a temporary, but lengthy shift in the jet stream that’s drawing Arctic air from Siberia and the North West Territories down over Central and Eastern Canada.

Article courtesy of Powerstream, a community-owned energy company that provides power to more than 370,000 customers in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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