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British Columbians choose comfort of their pets over saving energy

VANCOUVER — Nearly three quarters of British Columbians admit to leaving lights, electronics or the heat on for their pets when they leave home, which could be costing them up to $400 a year.

A new survey commissioned by BC Hydro found the majority of British Columbians are careful in not wasting electricity – with nine in 10 saying they turn off unused lights and electronics when they leave the home. However; when it comes to picking between energy savings and their pet’s comfort, 52 per cent of pet owners who leave lights, electronics or heat or lights on view the comfort of Fido or Fluffy as more important.

According to the survey, the most common items British Columbians leave on for their pets at least some of the time include:

  • Heat in the winter (90 per cent)
  • Lights (86 per cent)
  • Air conditioner in the summer (57 per cent)
  • Radio/music (47 per cent)
  • Television (39 per cent)
  • Fan (59 per cent)

The survey also found that those who leave items on for their pets:

  • Music, cartoons, nature, news and sports are the top types of shows left on;
  • almost 20 per cent have recorded a television program specifically for their pet; and,
  • more than 40 per cent of those that leave the lights on do so for at least four hours a day.

To help reduce the amount of energy consumed by the lights, electronics, and heat left on to keep British Columbians’ pets comfortable, BC Hydro recommends:

  • Lowering the thermostat by two degrees to reduce heating costs by around five per cent.
  • Switching incandescent bulbs to ENERGY STAR® LEDs to reduce lighting costs by about 75 per cent.
  • Using smart light switches that can be controlled remotely from a smartphone to turn on lights for pets only when needed.

BC Hydro is offering rebates on select energy-efficient products through its retail partners from now until November 16. Full details and lists of eligible products can be found at  

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