Turn it off and we’ll win, says village

  • Aug. 6, 2007 1:00 p.m.

Village of Queen Charlotte staff are encouraging everyone to turn off the lights and the power on computers and appliances, especially when not using them The village is taking part in a BC Hydro challenge in which 66 local governments have promised to reduce their energy consumption by at least 2 percent. Administrator Andrew Yeates thinks the town can do better even than that. “It’s the little things people do that help,” he said. Office staff are turning off their monitors when not using the computer and making sure the lights are turned off when no one is in a room. Mr. Yeates says they’re being particularly careful with the Public Works space. The lighting in that area is high-powered, so when staff are not there, it’s inefficient to have the lights left on. He says the village has also changed many light bulbs to use compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy as well. Mr. Yeates, who with Councillor Greg Martin, attended a workshop in Vancouver in May, says he’s now more aware of the amount of power used by all the different machines in the office. For example, a laptop when running a program uses 45 watts an hour, but in sleep mode, it uses just 1 watt. He hopes the town staff, along with the mayor and council can set an example for others in the community. Mr. Yeates suggested many other ideas to conserve energy, like turning down the heat in the winter and wearing a sweater instead, as well as using natural light, rather than electricity when possible. Some electrical equipment uses power even when off, so unplug things when not in use. According to BC Hydro, the BC Energy Plan has set a target of acquiring 50 percent of BC Hydro’s future electricity needs through conservation by 2020. For the challenge, the town has committed to reducing energy use in municipal buildings and at the Community Hall, with the goal of winning a $20,000 energy makeover for the hall. Queen Charlotte has until the end of August to score enough points to beat other communities with populations under 2,000. As of July 31, Tahis, Burns Lake and Hudson’s Hope were in first, second and third place, according to a BC Hydro news release.

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