Today I received a nice little cheque from BC Hydro's PowerSmart. Why? Because I managed to reduce the amount of power my house used in the last year by over 10% (15% in actuality).
It's a nice reward, a recognition, of the efforts I've made to reduce my power consumption. But that's nothing in comparison to the savings I'm realising every year in reduced electricity charges (about $140 in the last year alone!).
Multiply that $140 per year over the next 10 years, adding the expected 10% increase in the price of electricity each year (do remember to compound these increases!) and I will be saving at least $330 per year in 10 year's time. Total savings in those next 10 years? $2231.50. Nice.
Makes the $75 look rather paltry, sure. But if it's enough to motivate people to go on to make their homes more comfortable, energy-secure (stays comfortable longer when the power goes out), be more "green", improve the value of their home, and more, then why not?
Of course I will continue to work at lowering my energy costs. I'm going to next insulate the floor in my office (that currently sits on a very cold slab), and add a hot water heat recovery system. These will save me an estimated 15% more, paying for the upgrades in just a few years, while also making my office far more comfortable.
What has this program cost BC Hydro? In my case it cost them about five cents a KWhour, less than half the cost of bringing new power sources on-line. Truly a win-win for everyone, including the planet.
Other BC Hydro residents can sign up for this program and receive lots of great tips in PowerSmart's monthly newsletters. Just go to PowerSmart and click on the Team Power Smart button.