Hydro customers encouraged to conserve
By Krista Harper
Even small changes in home energy use can make a difference, said Thunder Bay Hydro employee Tim Wilson on Wednesday, as he kicked off the utility’s fall energy reduction challenge.
The campaign, called Turn Over a New Leaf, encourages Thunder Bay families to make small changes to reduce their energy consumption at home.
“There’s a lot of different things you can do (to reduce home energy use),” said Wilson, who is vice-president customer service and conservation at Thunder Bay Hydro. “Very simply, we remember our parents yelling at us when we were younger to turn off the lights. That’s still a very simple thing to do today.”
Other ways families can conserve, Wilson said, include adjusting the thermostat down by a few degrees at night, or installing a power strip so that home entertainment systems aren’t draining power when not in use.
Families who make a pledge and follow through on reducing energy at home can submit an application to win a new Energy Star washer and dryer. The family who saves the most energy by December 2012 will win the challenge.
“We’re asking (our customers) to take a look around the home,” said Wilson. “There are two or three simple, easy things they can do — and then dig a little deeper, and when you start digging a little deeper you can find that there are other opportunities within the home if you just take the time to walk around the house and take a look.”
The average Ontario household uses about 800 kilowatt hours of electricity each month, Wilson said. He’s hoping customers will be able to save two to five per cent of their kilowatt hours by participating in the challenge.
With a five per cent drop in energy usage, Wilson said most customers could expect to save several dollars per month.
“It’s not a huge amount on a bill, but it’s not a huge amount to conserve either,” he said.
“As electricity prices continue to rise in the future, what we want to focus people on is not so much the cost on the bill, but it’s the actual kilowatt hours that they use,” Wilson said. “And that’s a bit of a shift, because in the past people have only just looked, okay, it was a hundred bucks that I paid. What we want to get them doing is looking at the kilowatt hours, looking at when they use those kilowatt hours and making the small changes at home.”
Along with the announcement of the Turn Over a New Leaf challenge on Wednesday, Thunder Bay Hydro also unveiled a new addition to their fleet — a new Nissan Leaf car. The fully electric vehicle was custom-wrapped to promote the challenge.
The Leaf will be used for site visits to customer homes and to advertise the challenge at community events over the coming months.
Interested in participating in the challenge? Sign the pledge and learn more at