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Team Power Smart members stay clean, cut electricity use

Willington family, Kreuk and Madryga
Brenda Willington and her sons celebrate with Team Power Smart leaders Mark Madryga and Kristin Kreuk at a special members event at Science World.

More than 40,000 households have met their 10% savings goal so far

Chelsea Watt
bchydro.com

You get a lot of laughs, and some bizarre Power Smart tips, when the Vancouver TheatreSports League provides energy-saving advice. Have you ever considered cutting out showers completely?

Thankfully, Team Power Smart members are aware of more practical ways to reduce energy consumption.

On Sunday, November 20, Team Power Smart members who met their 10% reduction target and earned their reward cheque were invited to a special Members Day at Science World.

Those 400 attendees were not only entertained by the TheatreSports crew, they got a chance to meet celebrity team members Mark Madryga and Kristin Kreuk. They also got into some one-on-one energy discussions with our Outreach team and were able to spend the day exploring Science World.

How our star members did it

Anastacio family
Laura, John Anastacio and his daughter, Sophia, area among the more than 40,000 households who have reached or exceeded their goal of cutting electricity use by 10% or more.

Energy awareness, small changes add up to savings of 10% or more 

Several Team Power Smart members shared some insights on how they met their 10% reduction target without skipping showers.

Jocelyn and Calvin Wang said they started their challenge just to see if they could do it. The secret to their success? Small changes and awareness.

“It’s just overall being more aware of turning things off,” Jocelyn commented. “Turning off the lights. We have some heated floors as well, so turning those down. And electronics, stereos, turning those off, just making more of an effort.”

Viewing their electricity consumption reports online, according to Calvin, played a big role in their ability to meet their target. One of the reasons they were able to make their target, Calvin points out, was seeing exactly how much power they were using - something that will become easier with the in-home feedback provided by smart meters starting in 2012.

“To be able to see the differences that small changes make is encouraging," said Calvin.

Keeping the heat in

Living in a ground floor apartment with electric heating and lots of windows, Team Power Smart member Lori Fuller's primary concerns are finding ways to mitigate her heating costs.

Plastic film on the windows and a programmable thermostat were some of the small ways that Lori began managing her energy consumption.

The idea of a reward was a great incentive to get her and her family started on a Power Smart challenge, but it’s the info available in her Members Tool Box and her online account that keeps them on track.

“Every month when I get my bill, I check to see how we’re doing," said Lori.

She has also used the Analyze My Home tool to get in-depth feedback on where she can lower her electricity use and save money.

Over 40,000 households save 10% or more

Other Team Power Smart members echoed the need for small behaviour changes. Chris Lum’s family are big fans of hanging laundry to dry, and Marcia Takasaki favours turning off lights.

Those small changes are really the heart of the Team Power Smart program, says program manager Arien Korteland, who was at the event to welcome the celebrity guests and thank members for their participation.

“What we hear from our members is that they really value the opportunity to know how they’re doing and see the difference that such small changes can make,” he says. “To date, over 40,000 Team Power Smart households have completed the challenge to reduce their energy consumption by 10%. A lot of that success is coming from small changes like turning off lights and turning down the heat.”

What Arien and his team have found is that Team Power Smart members really are different; they do turn off the light more often than non-members, they hang clothes to dry, they unplug their chargers.

“That’s what makes them special and that’s why we wanted to show our appreciation by inviting them to this special event,” says Arien.

Join Team Power Smart today and start saving on your electricity use. And don't forget to enter our exclusive monthly contests - the answer to December's contest is included in this story. You could win one of  two Fuji Instax 210 instant camera packages.

Chelsea Watt is a writer-editor for bchydro.com and BC Hydro's social media channels.