February saw one of the coldest months in recent memory hit Saskatchewan, and due to the extreme cold, it saw SaskEnergy tie there 24-hour natural gas usage record.
Between the hours of 9:00 am on February 7 and 9:00 am on February 8th, 1.50 PetaJoules were used to tie the record set in December of 2017.
Casey MacLeod, senior communications officer with SaskEnergy, said that the record was both a combination of customer growth and the extreme cold.
"A large driver is customer growth that we have seen over the last years," she said. "We've got more people than ever hooked up to our system, and that increases the amount of gas that we use. Even more, than the residential customers base that we have, more and more large scare industrial customers are coming online, and they drive a lot of our increases in natural gas usage and especially in the winter months. But that cold snap in February definitely also contributed to that increase. It kind of goes hand and hand with each other. The high level of customer growth and the intense cold that we saw throughout February this year."
MacLeod said that these records are either being broken or tied more frequently due to customer growth.
"We've absolutely seen more frequent instances of us tying our existing usage record or surpassing it in the last 3 or 4 years, and we've had that happen quite frequently."
She noted that this February was a significant amount of more usage by the customers and multiple days where they also tied more records.
"We were paying a lot of attention this February to the numbers every day for the 24 hour periods that we track," she said. "There's quite a lot of instances where we got really close to trying it, and I can think 3 or 4 other days where we got quite close to tying our record. So definitely February we saw a large increase in our natural gas usage just with how cold it is."
MacLeod added that the trend of nearly breaking or tying a record has been going on almost all winter.
February 7 was the coldest day in the month with the temperature dropping close to -35 C and February 8 was the fourth coldest day with the temperature falling to -32 C.