How a Power Smart manager cuts his home energy costs


Household uses just over half the provincial average

As one of Power Smart's top cheerleaders, Pat Mathot has to lead by example.

The Power Smart residential marketing manager's family household uses only 6,000 kilowatt hours per year ($408). That's just over half the provincial average.

The curse of the forgotten light bulb

Mathot's savings strategy is super simple.

"The biggest single thing to ask is: 'What is plugged in and how long is it plugged in for?'," he says. "Many homes leave multiple lights and devices on unattended at different times of the day. You can break it down to a simple porch light — a 100-watt incandescent light bulb you turn on and never turn off.

"Multiply that by a year's full 8,760 hours and you are paying $68 for one single light bulb."

If you installed an LED bulb with a light-sensor photocell, you could save about 90% and pay less than $7 for that porch-light per year, he adds.

'Death by a thousand cuts'

Every little thing matters.

"Sometimes, your bill is a death by a thousand cuts," says Mathot. If you're a family of four, and using a 3,400 watt dryer, you could be doing up to five hours of dry-time each week — that means a cost of $60 per year at the basic charge, and $90 at the conservation rate."

At Mathot's house during summer, they put up a quick-folding clothes-drying line that saves a third of their average annual dryer consumption costs.

And, if you give the cold shoulder to your second fridge or freezer, you could save up to 10% (1,100 kilowatt hours) off your annual bill.

"If you're interested in kilowatt hours, you're interested in saving money. One of the best things a BC Hydro residential customer can do is join Team Power Smart. We provide tips, product discounts and in-depth advice to help you make your home more efficient, reducing energy consumption and, importantly, your BC Hydro bills."

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