About three-quarters of British Columbians plan to watch more TV than usual over the Christmas season. (Photo credit: pxhere)

About three-quarters of British Columbians plan to watch more TV than usual over the Christmas season. (Photo credit: pxhere)

A perfect electronics storm as holidays and pandemic combine

More people will be at home, using and giving more electronics and devices than ever

What happens when you combine Christmas holidays, a pandemic, more people spending more time at home, electronic gifts under the tree, and binge-watching?

BC Hydro is predicting that it will add up to unprecedented electronics use, as people get through this COVID-19 holiday season. A new survey conducted on behalf of BC Hydro finds that over 90 per cent of British Columbians plan to spend more time at home over the holidays because of the pandemic. Over half said they will use more electronics to help pass the time, which — combined with small appliances — account for about 20 per cent of the electricity consumed in a home.

In addition to using more, British Columbians are planning to spend more. Spending on new electronics and appliances was already up by 10 per cent earlier this year, and that was expected to continue this December.

The gaming industry slowed in 2019, but hot items like the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X gaming consoles will contribute to increased spending and electricity use this year. About 10 per cent of adults in B.C. are looking to purchase a gaming console this holiday season.

Screen time is also forecast to be at an all-time high. About three-quarters of British Columbians indicated they will be spending more time watching TV and movies over the holiday season than they normally do, so it should come as no surprise that new monitors, tablets, and TVs are at the top of many people’s wish lists.

While electronics will be used to entertain and distract, they will also play a role in connecting British Columbians. Headsets with microphones and LED ring lights are popular gifts as the video conferencing app Zoom continues to be the most downloaded iPhone and iPad app of the year. About 60 per cent of British Columbians said they are planning a virtual celebration with family and friends this year, and about half said they will be making more phone calls to connect with loved ones, which may be why about 10 per cent expect to purchase cellphones for family and friends.

To improve your energy efficiency while hanging out at home this holiday season, BC Hydro recommends:

· Streaming efficiently: Stream movies or TV shows on a device like a smart TV instead of a game console, as it uses 40 per cent less electricity.

· Looking for the ENERGY STAR symbol: Laptops or desktops with this label use between 30 to 60 per cent less electricity than conventional models. ENERGY STAR rated TVs use at least 30 per cent less.

· Considering the monitor size: A 17-inch monitor uses 30 per cent more energy than a 15-inch monitor.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The future of the Cache Creek pool is still up in the air as council ponders different options and cost considerations. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
No decision about whether Cache Creek pool will open in 2021

Council still discussing pool’s future; no date set for public meeting about its fate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Nanaimo-raised singer Allison Crowe with director Zack Snyder on the set of ‘Man of Steel’ in 2011. Crowe performs a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in the upcoming director’s cut of ‘Justice League.’ (Photo courtesy Clay Enos)
B.C. musician records song for upcoming ‘Justice League’ film

Allison Crowe’s close connection to director led to rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

Most Read