Icy Sask. temperatures prompt record demand for natural gas

·1 min read
Natural gas consumption has exceeded last year's record five times in past two weeks. (Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press - image credit)
Natural gas consumption has exceeded last year's record five times in past two weeks. (Craig Ruttle/The Associated Press - image credit)

Provincial demand for natural gas has broken the daily record for the third time in a span of about a week and a half, with help from the extremely cold temperatures across Saskatchewan.

SaskEnergy estimates the province used about 1.66 petajoules (PJ) on Thursday, surpassing the previous record set on Dec. 29 of 1.64 PJ.

Before that, the record was 1.62 PJ on Dec. 28, which snapped the record of 1.57 PJ from February 2021. In the past two weeks, the province has exceeded 1.6 PJ on five days.

SaskEnergy uses petajoules — equal to one million gigajoules — to measure natural gas consumption. An average home in the province uses about 100 gigajoules of natural gas every year.

This is the ninth winter in a row that the daily usage record has been either matched or exceeded.

"When we plan for winter usage, we prepare for the worst conditions a Saskatchewan winter can offer," said Ken From, SaskEnergy president and CEO, in a press release.

Extreme cold in Saskatchewan

Over the past several days, each region of the province has been under an extreme cold alert from Environment Canada.

On Thursday, when the natural gas record was broken, Regina was facing an average temperature of –34.4 C. In Saskatoon, it was about –35 C.

Both cities remained under extreme cold warnings on Friday.

SaskEnergy is encouraging residents to conserve energy and reduce heating bills by changing the furnace filter every month or two to increase efficiency, lowering the house temperature at night or when not at home and washing clothes in cold water.

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