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Fort St. John resident learns how to save energy

Fort St. John resident Denise Cote is a sparkling example of energy conservation at its finest.

Cote and her family have learned some new ways to save energy on BC Hydro’s Conservation Research Initiative, a study that examines how time-of-use rates can encourage customers to switch their energy use to off-peak hours and lead to overall conservation.

So now when it comes to giving energy-saving tips, Cote can really dish them out.

“I just make sure that I don’t run the dishwasher until later in the evening,” said Cote. “That was something I used to do right after supper, but now I don’t do it until nine in the evening.”

The Cotes also use energy-efficient appliances and compact fluorescent lighting, and have switched to doing larger loads of laundry.

Collectively, households that participated in the Conservation Research Initiative in Fort St. John reduced their peak-hour energy consumption by over 14% and lowered their total winter energy consumption by over 14%.

The benefit of shifting electricity use to off-peak hours is a reduction in peak demand (the demand on the coldest days of the year at the highest-use period of the day), helping BC Hydro to delay adding new generation facilities to its system. It’s a way of doing more with existing resources.

The Province of B.C. has set a goal of achieving electricity self-sufficiency by 2016, and conservation is the first and best choice to help achieve that goal. BC Hydro encourages all British Columbians to conserve more.

About the Conservation Research Initiative

BC Hydro has been conducting a Conservation Research Initiative since November 2006 to examine how individual British Columbians can make a difference and help meet the growing demand for electricity in B.C. by conserving power in their homes.

This important electricity conservation study is being conducted in more than 1,800 residential homes in Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Campbell River and Fort St. John.

The study is testing time-of-use rates and smart meters, digital meters that measure hourly electricity consumption. The study will help BC Hydro better understand how adjusting the price of electricity at different times of day influences energy use by residential customers. Study participants are encouraged to conserve electricity and shift usage to off-peak times.

Year One results

Data from the first year shows that participants reduced their total energy consumption by an average of 7.6% during the winter peak period. And an impressive 63% of participants saved money by conserving and shifting their energy consumption to off-peak hours.

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Source: BC Hydro News