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Power Smart month: conservation, candlelight, and a contest

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October is Power Smart Month

Every October, it's Power Smart Month – time to put an extra effort into improving how we use energy. As we enter the time of year where we use more electricity, the opportunities to save get better, making it a great time to start new behaviours or run conservation promotions in the workplace.

Power Smart Month offers a few ways to make this easy and fun. How can your company help get the word out, and engage employees in new conservation thinking?

Workplace conservation: bringing it home for business

If you've implemented energy saving measures at your business, you know there's a formula to getting the best results: energy efficient technology plus employee behaviour.

Power Smart month is a great time to remind employees about ways they can help keep energy costs down at work. Below are a few tips you might promote. Perhaps a little in-house contest could add to the fun?

Workplace conservation awareness tips:

  • Dress in layers rather than using a space heater
  • Use daylight instead of electric light when possible
  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, like meeting rooms and bathrooms
  • Activate power management settings on your computers and printers

"Power Smart Month is all about reminding people to mitigate a higher bill by taking a more active role in your energy usage," says Chelsea Grisdale with BC Hydro Power Smart. "The message applies to commercial customers too. It's a great time to look at what you can do to decrease usage, make improvements, and get employees involved in finding savings."

Contest: create your Power Plan and win

Everything is a little easier when a reward is in sight, right? This year, create your own Power Plan online at powersmart.ca in October, and get entered in a draw for a great prize pack from Samsung.

To create your Power Plan, you answer questions about energy-saving behaviour, or energy efficient products. The plan gives an estimate of how much money you could save each year by taking those steps - and then enters you in the draw.

Of course, another way to win is to actually implement those steps, and see the results on your BC Hydro bill! Powersmart.ca will lead people to BC Hydro's new energy tracking tools to track electricity use. Information about each household’s electricity use is available on an hourly basis, making it easier than ever to identify high points so you can cut costs.

"One of the things we've heard from people was, 'These tools are great, but I don't know how they can help me save money,'" says Grisdale. "We want to help people understand that it is behaviours that help you save money, and by tracking your usage with the online tools, you can look for peak periods of usage and determine what behaviour or technology you can change to make a difference."

The Power Smart month website will also list retailers offering deals on energy efficient products, and events happening throughout the month. For businesses, Power Smart incentives and efficiency programs will be listed in full.

And what about those prizes? Be sure to check powersmart.ca on October 1 to get the lowdown on the Samsung goodies on offer.

Candlelight dinners: a delicious way to learn about conservation

One of BC Hydro's longest-running and most-loved energy efficiency promotions is the annual Candlelight Conservation Dinner offered by participating restaurants across the province.

The restaurants hold dinner by candlelight, and help promote ways that everyone can help save energy. Diners get an extra helping of ambience, and a delicious way to learn about conservation.

This year' Candlelight Conservation Dinner date is Thursday, October 24, with about 100 restaurants expected to take part. Find one near you at powersmart.ca/candlelight. To help promote the evening or share your own conservation ideas, use #pscandlelight on Twitter.

Power Smart Month runs during the month of October. For full details, visit powersmart.ca starting October 1.