Hydro gives power-saving hints, coupons to islanders

  • Nov. 18, 2005 8:00 p.m.

By Charlotte Tarver-Did you know that if you put a dry towel in your dryer along with a load of wet clothes, it will use up to 50-percent less energy to dry the clothes? And if you leave your computer on 24-hours per day it uses more energy than your fridge?
BC Hydro representatives provided a wealth of these kind of energy-saving details at their ‘Power Smart’ educational seminars in Sandspit, Skidegate and Masset.
(The Masset seminar will be held Sunday Nov. 20, 10 am at the community hall. Residents can turn in their old torchieres etc. at North Coast Supply Sat. from 10:30 to 6 pm and on Sunday noon to 6 pm.)
They demonstrated how people could save energy and money at home through simple changes in behaviour and by use of energy-efficient products. The seminar went over the ‘Power Smart’ lighting rebate, refrigerator buy-back and window rebate programs. With consumption of energy rising (1.7-percent per year in BC) and energy costs also rising, this information could be helpful.
Following the seminars, islanders could turn in their old halogen torchieres and incandescent holiday lights for in-store $30 and $4 coupons. They had to be used towards purchasing energy-efficient compact fluorescent torchieres and holiday light-emitting diode (LED) light strings Friday at Gwaii Co-op and on the week-end at North Coast supply in Masset.
If you couldn’t turn in your old torchieres and holiday lights, you can still obtain other coupons on the BC Hydro web site or at participating dealers. It may be worth the effort to take advantage of this program – the holiday LED light strings use up to 95-percent less energy than traditional lights, last at least 10 times longer, produce little heat and reduce the risk of fire. Also, they won’t break if you drop or step on them!
In Skidegate, Pearle Pearson asked about who was responsible for the frequent brown-outs here on the islands and told how her convection oven was damaged by brown-outs and cost $500 to repair. The Hydro reps said they’d take islanders concerns about the brown-outs damaging electrical equipment and appliances to BC Hydro in Vancouver.
Other cost-saving tidbits given by the two reps were:
o CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) use about 75-percent less energy than traditionally bulbs and last about 8 time longer
o water-saving showerheads can save up to 15-percent of hot water use
o Computer monitors use 75-percent of computer energy – turn off the monitor when not at your computer!
o Screen savers do not save energy.
o To extend the life of a computer, turn it off when not in use.
o 1 drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste 11,350 litres of water or more each year.
More information is available at the BC Hydro website, www.bchydro.com