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BC Hydro survey says: remote workers miss office AC

For the growing number of remote workers without air conditioning, home is where the heat is.

A recent survey commissioned by BC Hydro found more than half of British Columbians polled, planned to work from home full time this summer.  

At least a quarter of them also indicated that they would miss the office AC.

B.C. is well below the national average when it comes to air conditioning. 

Less than 40 percent of British Columbains use it at home compared to the Canadian average of about 60 per cent. 

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Manitoba and Ontario have the highest proportion of households with air conditioners at 80 per cent and 74 per cent, respectively.

That said, there has been a big increase in use in B.C. over the past decade. 

Air conditioning use has increased by nearly 50 per cent. In condos and apartments, that number has increased even more by about 70 per cent.

Working from home has also increased air conditioning use. 

Nearly 20 percent of those working from home in B.C. last summer bought an air conditioner. 

And, with record-breaking temperatures continuing across the province, AC purchases are expected to be even higher. 

The cost of running new air conditioning units can add up, which is probably why 42 per cent said they miss their employer footing the electricity bill.

While the supply of air conditioners may be limited this summer, BC Hydro is offering the following tips on staying cool without using AC:

  • Closing the drapes and blinds: Shading windows can block out up to 65 per cent of the heat.
  • Shutting doors and windows: If the temperature outside is warmer than inside, keep doors and windows closed to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.
  • Using a fan: Running a fan nine hours a day over the summer costs just $7.
  • Being a star: Purchase an ENERGY STAR air conditioner as they use about 30 to 40 percent less power than standard units.
  • Opting for smaller appliances: Use a microwave, crockpot or toaster oven to avoid the extra heat produced by larger appliances when preparing meals.
  • Getting pumped: Install a heat pump to help efficiently cool in the summer and heat in the winter. In partnership with CleanBC, BC Hydro offers rebates up to $2,000 for installing a heat pump.

 For more information on how to save energy and money, visit

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