The power plays weren't limited to the ice in yesterday's Olympic hockey finals. There was a noticeable increase in electricity use in Ontario as people turned on their televisions to watch Canada battle the United States in the men's hockey finals. Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) measured an increase of 300 megawatts (MW) just before the game started, more than enough to power the city of Burlington.
Similar increases occurred during the intermissions between periods as viewers opened their refrigerators to refresh their beverages and used their ovens and microwaves to prepare snacks. Electricity consumption dropped off shortly after 22-year-old Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal at 7:40 in overtime, approximately 5:40 p.m. in Ontario.
"Consumer behaviour has a significant impact on the demand for electricity," said Mark Wilson, Manager of System Operations at the IESO. "The patterns we saw yesterday are very different from the demand profile for a typical Sunday in late February."