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Long-time energy savers win 2010 Winter Games tickets

Peter Cunningham of Nanaimo joined Team Power Smart and won a 2010 Winter Games ticket package.

Posted by Nola Poirier

Peter Cunningham got more than inspiration to reduce his household energy use and lower his BC Hydro bills when he joined Team Power Smart last February. He won a 2010 Winter Games ticket package as well!

I interviewed Peter to find out some tips he could share about saving energy — and about winning contests.

Peter told me he signed up when he saw the Team Power Smart booth at the Festival du Sucre d'Erable (Maple Syrup Festival) in Nanaimo because he enjoys trying to reduce his BC Hydro bills and making his house as snug as possible.

Peter and his wife were already great energy savers even before they signed up for Team Power Smart.

"Years ago we tapped into a retrofit program to install new insulation and windows, which was paid for through the reduction in electricity consumption — perfectly painless — and the house is so much quieter and so much less draughty," he said.

He also shared a couple of their ongoing practices that keep their energy use low: "We keep the heat at 19ºC in the winter. Our hydro bill is usually less than others with oil furnaces even though we heat with electricity. And all the lights in our house are fluorescent except the 10 bulbs on dimmer switches."

I asked him for a tip that he thinks is really important to share with others, and he wisely suggested "Live near where you work and shop so you can use your feet for something other than the gas and brake pedals."

Then I dove into the juicy stuff — asking if he often wins contests like this — so I could learn the secret. It turned out Peter's secret was his interest in energy saving, because he told me that he hadn't won any contests like this before.

He also said that although he and his wife watch the Olympic Games on television, and that he saw the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs play in Maple Leaf Gardens over 30 years ago, neither he or his wife has ever been present at a live Olympic event.

They don't yet know which events they will have tickets for, but his favourite would be ice hockey, and his wife's would be figure skating.

As far as his own sporting activities go, he said: "I'm afraid I can't even skate. I bowl a bit — that's about it."

Nola Poirier is a freelance writer and key contributor to the bchydro.com Green Guides. She now works from a home on the Sunshine Coast.

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Source: BC Hydro News