Air conditioning in some areas of northern Alberta has become the latest hot item for those who want to protect themselves from the heat.
A study released by the Canadian Association of Professional Engineers and Construction Workers found average home air conditioning costs have jumped from $14.50 per month in 2014 to $31.25 per month by 2018.
The association says the rise is due to an aging population and a new, more efficient system.
In its latest report, the association said the number of residential air conditioning units is expected to grow from 11,500 in 2017 to 20,600 by 2020.
In Calgary, where temperatures in some neighbourhoods reached as high as 105 C, air conditioning bills jumped by 25 per cent in the past year.
The average home has now gone from $939 a month to $1,100 a month.
But those in the middle and lower income groups have seen their bills increase.
In the lower income group, bills jumped 40 per cent.
“I think that it’s a reflection of how people have to adapt to what is happening,” said Lisa Horsley.
“The elderly and the less affluent are paying more for air conditioning.”
The average air conditioning bill in Calgary jumped by 24 per cent, from $847 in 2014-15 to $2,100 in 2018-19.
“When you have a person like myself, who is at the end of their life and you’ve got a $20,000 air conditioning system, that’s really a significant cost to me,” said Horsly.
I know what it’s like to pay a little more. “
It’s not a shocker to me.
I know what it’s like to pay a little more.
I’m just surprised it’s been that high for so long.”
In addition to higher prices, there are more costs to running an air conditioner, said Bill Dickson, a spokesperson for the Association of Provincial Construction Officials.
Dickson said the average cost of an air conditioning unit in the province is $3,100.
He said this includes the installation, maintenance and service costs for the system, such as the compressor and other parts.
“For a lot of people, it’s not worth the extra expense.
They are not paying the price for the air conditioning, it is a small portion of the bill,” said Dickson.
“In my experience, the air conditioners that I’ve seen in the homes of the construction industry, there’s not much difference in the amount of energy that goes into it and the efficiency of the system.”
In Edmonton, the average price of an indoor air conditioning room is $744.
But Dickson says the average air condition room costs more than $1 million to build.
He says that is more than double the average bill for homes in the inner city.
In Toronto, the city’s average air conditioned room is a record $2.3 million.
In Montreal, the City of Montreal estimates the average monthly cost of air conditioning in the city at $1.6 million.
“You can’t argue that a lot is going on there,” said Montreal city councillor Denis Coderre.
“We’ve got the biggest city in the world, it has the largest population, the biggest economy in the country, and yet the cost for our homes is going up at a very high rate.”
A new system The association said air conditioning is being installed across the country and will soon be installed in Calgary.
In Edmonton in 2017, more than 1,500 homes had air conditioning installed, and by 2019, more were expected.
However, in Calgary, the number will likely increase as the heat wave continues to spread.
“People will be using their air condition and the people who are renting will be relying on that, and it’s just a matter of how much it takes to build,” said Michael McNeil, the vice president of the Association.
The Calgary Air Conditioning Society is asking for a freeze on prices for air condition units until at least July 1.
They want to see air conditioning become a part of the standard in Alberta.
“Our goal is to have a system in place that’s universal,” said McNeil.