VANCOUVER -- Those hosting holiday parties in the next several weeks might see a boost in their electricity bill, BC Hydro is warning.

According to a new report from the energy supplier, hosting habits lead to an increase in electricity use that begins in the week leading up to Christmas. On Christmas Day, hosting could lead to a whopping 15 per cent increase in electricity use.

In 2018, B.C. residents used about 8,000 megawatt hours more electricity by mid-day Christmas compared to the same day the week before, BC Hydro says. That's equal to cooking 1.5 million turkeys.

BC Hydro also commissioned a survey that found nearly 95 per cent of residents plan to prepare meals from scratch at home for their friends and family this holiday season, rather than ordering take-out or buying a pre-made meals. As well, over 60 per cent say they plan to bake holiday treats at home instead of picking up store bought ones. 

About a quarter of B.C. residents are even hosting friends and family for longer stays over the holidays and about one-in-five of those say they're worried guests might use too much electricity during their stay. 

But B.C. guests are aware of that, the survey found, with 80 per cent saying they plan to make an effort to reduce their electricity use while staying at someone's house. 

Hosts can play their part to reduce electricity costs too, BC Hydro says. Those who plan to cook a big meal should lower the heat in their house before starting meal prep because using the oven or stovetop will warm up the house too. Hosts can consider using a microwave or toaster oven, because they use less than half the electricity of a regular oven and have much quicker cooking times.

For those who love to bake, making holiday treats in batches can help save energy. As well, bakers should avoid opening the oven to take a peek as much as possible because this will increase cooking times. 

With a house full of guests, hosts can consider keeping the temperature a little lower in the house, BC Hydro suggests. 

The survey commissioned by BC Hydro was conducted online by Majid Khoury and polled 800 British Columbians between Sept. 27 and Oct. 1, 2019.