CALGARY -- Calgary’s first significant temperature drop of 2020 is expected to place a capacity strain on shelters and increase power consumption throughout the province.

A deep freeze is on the way this weekend,with temperatures expected to be well below -20 Celsius. With consideration for the wind chill, the cold could potentially reach -40 C.

Local shelters, including the Drop-In Centre, are preparing for an influx of clients looking for a reprieve from the bitter cold on city streets. 

ENMAX say this time of year a typical Alberta home sees a spike in electricity usage - about 8 per cent - and natural gas use goes up by about 40%. Homeowners should take steps to make sure that they're heating their home efficiently.

" (Ensure) that your house is well sealed," said ENMAX's Andre Van Dijk "Get somebody in to do an energy audit to see where the energy is escaping. Check the registers of the heating system. Sometimes you need the heat in all the rooms. Make sure that you don't have a heat source close to the thermostat as that can influence how the thermostat is kicking in and out."

Anyone who is braving the elements in the coming days is encouraged to bundle up and dress in layers as exposed skin can be frostbitten within a matter of minutes.

For additional tips visit the City of Calgary's What to do during a severe winter storm or extreme cold