Lululemon prize winners work to reduce electricity use

Blaine Kyllo

Ursela Stephane doesn't use air conditioning and has a very simple suggestion for beating the summer heat. The Lillooet resident keeps cool by putting a damp cloth on the back of her neck. She says the technique works wonders.

And by not using electricity to cool her house, the Team Power Smart member is using less power than last summer, despite the heat wave. She says being conservation-minded is generally a good idea. "We have to or else we'll run out of resources, and then it's too late."

Ursela is a member of the Lillooet Naturalist Society, which has been working to restore the site of an early BC Hydro powerhouse. She's pictured here planting some native flora on the grounds of the one-time generating station.

Ursela is one of four Team Power Smart members to win a $100 Lululemon gift certificate in our July contest. She's joined by Port Moody's Scott Yuzwa and by Susan Ferguson and Jean-Joseph Portelance, both from Vancouver.

Susan has an air conditioner in her home, but hasn't turned it on, opting instead to use fans to improve air flow. She's been a Team Power Smart member since February, and has already reduced her consumption by 5%.

"I always look at ways to reduce the amount of power that I'm using," she said on the phone. Susan tracks her progress every month when she checks her BC Hydro bill online, and says that being able to measure how much she is reducing her electricity use is a great motivator.

She's always tried to reduce the amount of power she uses, but being a Team Power Smart member "makes me think about specific things like turning the lights off when leaving the room".

Most of Susan's 5% reduction has come from unplugging things from wall outlets, and says she's surprised that such a simple thing can have such a large impact.

Ursela's also taking care to turn lights off and unplug appliances when they're not in use. She also turns her computer off, has replaced light bulbs with CFLs, and takes short showers. She's been a member of Team Power Smart for over a year, and appreciates the feedback on her electricity consumption.

She gets disappointed when she doesn't meet her Team Power Smart targets.

"But living in Lilooet it gets very cold in the winter," Ursela says, explaining that she finds lowering her bill in the winter months is quite a challenge. "But I do what I can, when I can."

More contests, past winners

Starting September 1, look for a couple new contests open to Team Power Smart members.

Our monthly contest will feature a prize of a trip for two to Victoria package, including a one-night stay for two at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and two one-year memberships to the Royal BC Museum.

Also debuting September 1 is a Team Power Smart Photo Contest, in which team members will submit images of their "Favourite green thing" – the grand prize is a digital SLR camera.

For details of boths contests, see our contests page or log in to your Team Power Smart account after September 1, 2010.

Here's a list of recent Team Power Smart contest winners:

July – $100 Lululemon gift card prize

Jean-Joseph Portelance
Susan M. Ferguson
Scott Yuzwa
Ursela Stephane

June – Vancouver Whitecaps prize pack

Alnoor Kara
Megan Briskham
Gregory Sykes
Kee Cheong Chai

May – Clothesline

Tony Tedder
Laurel Stevens
Sharon Strecheniuk
Sylvester Liang
Deborah Scott

April – Ryan Kesler Jersey

Christie Braeuer

March – Olympic Book

Maria Iaci
Francine Vickery
Mike Paulson
Dianne Lust
John O'Flynn
Ann Brown
Laura Dempsey
Mairi Robertson
H. Curtis Broughton
Brian Berry
Art Folden
David Crocione
Chris Bradbury
Lisa Phillips
Gavin Bamber
Lindsey Wiebe
Bob Gallaugher
Linda Earles
Gerald Forsythe
Lynne Davis

Blaine Kyllo is a Vancouver-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to and the Connected newsletter.