Despite the heat, downtown businesses are heeding B.C. Hydro’s call to reduce air conditioner use during the recent hot spell.
“There was a substantial decrease in demand between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and that’s a trend in the right direction,” said Hydro spokesperson Gillian Robinson.
The call went out yesterday after one of two transformers at the Cathedral Square substation, which feeds the dense downtown area, failed due to mechanical problems.
Substations are designed to operate on one transformer, but hot weather is taxing them more than usual.
As a precaution, Hydro shifted power use away from the substation but requested downtown customers turn off unnecessary lights and reduce air conditioning use.
Some businesses complained that scaling back air conditioning would affect patronage.
However, Hydro isn’t asking for a complete cessation of usage, but rather a prudent dialing down, said Robinson.
“If people just turn the temperature up one degree it would make a huge difference,” said Robinson.
Repairs to the 160-tonne three-storey transformer are expected to take two to six weeks.