Wasting energy? Use energy tracking tools to start saving

Image of Salmar Grand Cinemas
Salmar Grand Cinemas in Salmon Arm was the winner of the 2012 Power Smart Energy Fix contest, but manager Daila Duford has not stopped there. She's using MyHydro tools to add to her conservation efforts.

Salmon Arm cinema manager uses tools to investigate when energy use is highest

As manager of Salmon Arm's Salmar Cinemas — winner of the 2012 Energy Fix contest — Daila Duford wanted to know whether her movie houses were wasting energy.

And if there was waste, when was it happening?

So Duford turned to new MyHydro energy tracking tools to investigate the cinemas' hourly electricity use from the previous day. Not only do the tools help her identify the time of day when the cinema's energy use is highest, she can also track the effectiveness of her conservation efforts.

"It's eye-opening," she says. "You can see the whole day, it breaks it all out. And I can see right away how our energy use is consistent during the week and then goes up on the weekends when we're open longer."

Energy tracking tools are easy to use

With new energy tracking tools available on MyHydro, you now have access to detailed information about your electricity use throughout the billing period.

When you log in to MyHydro, you can see how much electricity your business is using throughout the day and at what cost. This information is also customized to your rate class.

With the tools, businesses like Salmar Cinemas now get greater control over their bill.

Use the MyHydro energy tracking tools to:

  • Access your hourly use in kilowatt hours (kWh) and in dollars — up to the previous day (for customers on the Small General Service rate).
  • Compare your electricity use to other data such as last year's electricity use and the average outside temperature.
  • Set conservation targets and use optional email and SMS alerts and reminders to manage and track your electricity use.
  • Export your electricity use data to use for offline analysis.

Cinemas save energy with LED lighting — and a culture of energy efficiency

Salmar Cinemas is a community-owned business consisting of two properties: Salmar Grand Cinemas, a modern multiplex; and Salmar Classic Theatre, the first non-profit movie theatre in Canada.

In 2012, Salmar Grand Cinemas was one of five regional winners in BC Hydro's Energy Fix contest. Their prize included replacing all the floodlights in the lobbies, hallways and bathrooms with LEDs. They also replaced all the incandescent holiday lights on the cinema's exterior with LED light strings.

Since the Energy Fix, the cinema's management has continued to make energy efficiency upgrades. They changed the auditorium lighting at the Salmar Grand to LEDs, and upgraded the lobby, bathrooms, and outside lighting of the Classic Theatre.

In addition, the business has been developing a culture of energy efficiency.

"Our staff members are the ones who've been replacing the lighting," says Duford. "And everyone's conscious of when they're running things, when they're turning things off, and being sure that things are off at end of night. It's become procedure now."

How you can save

When you receive your bill, it's already too late to make changes to reduce your electricity use for the billing period. Getting detailed and timely feedback about your business' electricity use on a regular basis helps you quickly find ways to save energy and money.

The tools calculate and project the cost of your next bill based on your actual electricity use patterns. If patterns change, the projection will change accordingly, making it possible to see the impact of your changes the next day.

Signing up for email or SMS alerts also helps your business stay on track with conservation goals.

Getting started

To start tracking your electricity use, create a MyHydro Profile and link your account to your Profile. Once logged in to MyHydro, select "view detailed consumption" to access the energy tracking tools.

BC Hydro is working to ensure all business customers are enabled to use the tools in MyHydro. Please check back regularly by logging in to MyHydro to see if you have access.

Find out more

Interested in saving energy? BC Hydro's Power Smart offers great tips to get your business more energy efficient.

Check out the Product Incentive Program for rebates and incentives on eligible energy saving products.