Turn it off, says village

  • Aug. 3, 2007 6:00 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 per cent. 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 are being particularly careful with the Public Works space. The lighting in that area is high-powered, so when staff are not there, it is 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 per cent less energy as well. Mr. Yeates who along with Councillor Greg Martin attended a workshop in Vancouver in May, says he is more aware of the amount of power used by all the different machines in the office now. For example, a laptop when running a program uses 45 watts an hour, but when in sleep mode, uses 1 watt per hour. He says the printers are also set to go into a sleep mode, as turning them on and off in a busy office is not realistic. 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 per cent 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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