48 heat-related calls in one day, record power use as Alberta heat wave rages on

As outdoor temperatures push Alberta thermometers to new highs, first responders have been kept busy dealing with heat-related emergencies.

According to Alberta Health Services, Tuesday saw paramedics in Edmonton respond to 48 calls related to the heat.

Since Tuesday afternoon, Edmonton emergency rooms have had 18 heat-related visits.

Calgary emergency rooms saw 10 heat-related visits since Tuesday, while paramedics in that city responded to 24 calls related to the heat.

CTV News Edmonton reported on Monday that last week saw Edmonton Fire Rescue Services respond to 30 incidents of people or animals locked in vehicles.

Updated numbers from EFRS suggest the trend has worsened since those numbers came out, with 17 new incidents reported since Monday.

Since June 24, EFRS have responded to 40 cases of animals or people locked in vehicles.

Eighteen of those calls were for people, 22 were for animals.

On Monday alone, rescue crews were called 13 times for such incidents; nine for animals, and four for people.

RECORD-BREAKING POWER CONSUMPTION

According to Alberta's power grid operator, Monday and Tuesday saw record summertime highs for power consumption in the province.

Tuesday's power use in the province led the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) declare an energy emergency alert. 

The 11,721 MW used in Alberta on Tuesday was eight MW shy of the all-time record which was set in the wintertime.

A new summer peak of 11,721 MW was recorded on June 29, 2021. We are forecasting a similar load on the grid today as yesterday.

Please conserve electricity today where and when you can! #ABElectricity

More tips on how to conserve here: https://t.co/lzRxJaJsfa pic.twitter.com/0hLrOnCfKT

— AESO (@theAESO) June 30, 2021

The AESO has been asking Albertans to do what they can to conserve power. A sentiment echoed by EPCOR.

"We are joining the AESO in encouraging Edmontonians to reduce their power use, especially during peak hours of 4 to 9 p.m.," the Edmonton-based utility company stated in a news release.

"Steps customers can take include: turning off unnecessary lights and electrical appliances; minimizing the use of air conditioners; and limiting the use of major power-consuming equipment such as dishwashers and washers and dryers." 

EPCOR said customers are encouraged "to be prepared for power outages given the potential for current conditions to affect the performance of electrical equipment."

DIRECT ENERGY REGULATED SERVICES INCREASING JULY RATES

On Wednesday afternoon, Direct Energy Regulated Services (DERS) announced in a news release that default rates would be applied for July.

"A typical residential customer consuming 600 kWh per month would see approximately a $13.58 or 7 per cent increase in the total amount of their bill compared to last month," a DERS news release stated.

Energy rates are adjusted monthly to reflect what DERS pays to purchase energy for regulated customers in the ATCO Electric service territory.

According to DERS, the energy rate for July is about 35 per cent higher than the rate charged in June.

According to CTV News Edmonton meteorologist Josh Classen, the single-day record for June 30 in Edmonton "will definitely get shattered" on Wednesday.