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You don’t need to argue over your BC Hydro usage if you set goals and use tips from others!..

Below is a media release from BC Hydro. After the story we’ve included further tips to reduce your power consumption above and beyond what BC Hydro dishes out. It’s not worth arguing over something so silly as the power bill! Making small changes will save you and no, you don’t have spend $15,000 on a heat pump to do so!..

VANCOUVER, BC: New BC Hydro research shows many couples in B.C. are engaged in power struggles over home energy use – from room temperature and lights left on to running the dishwasher half full.

The *survey conducted on behalf of BC Hydro finds over a quarter (26 per cent) of British Columbians who are in a relationship said they regularly have energy-related disagreements with their partner at home. Of those who have home energy disagreements, some of the most common contentions are related to heating and cooling, including overall home temperature being too hot or cold (64 per cent) or their partner letting cold air in by keeping a door or window open (32 per cent).

Failing to flip the off switch on lights or electronics is another source of conflict. For example, almost two-thirds have argued about lights being left on when leaving a room and over a quarter have argued about leaving the TV on. Water use is another sore spot – 16 per cent said they have argued with their partner because they used all the hot water for showering or bathing, and many have disagreed about the washing machine (24 per cent) or dishwasher (12 per cent) being used too frequently, or when not full.

Over half (52 per cent) of couples said they have energy-related arguments at night. The top disagreements include the room being too hot or cold (34 per cent), their partner leaving a fan on all night (11 per cent), their partner watching or listening to something on their phone well past bedtime (10 per cent), a bedside lamp being left on after their partner falls asleep (9 per cent) or the TV being left on (8 per cent).

While energy use quarrels are common, many couples are planning a détente for Valentine’s Day.

BC Hydro suggests the following to help keep the peace:

  • Taking some temperature recommendations: BC Hydro recommends setting the thermostat at 21 degrees Celsius when relaxing or watching TV, 18 degrees Celsius when cooking or doing housework, and 16 degrees Celsius when away from home or sleeping.
  • Considering a heat pump: a heat pump can both heat and cool efficiently, and they are environmentally friendly too, thanks to BC Hydro’s clean hydroelectricity.
  • Skipping the heat: running a full load is the most efficient way to use the dishwasher but skipping the heat dry function can cut its electricity use in half.
  • Draftproofing: use caulking and weather stripping to seal gaps and cracks around doors, windows, and outlets to prevent heat from leaking out and cold air from coming in.
  • Lighting smart: use energy-efficient LED lighting inside and outside and put timers on the outdoor lights so they do not remain on the entire day.

PJXM News has some more tips to reduce your power consumption above and beyond what BC Hydro dishes out. Our tips are detailed and have been tested over a two year period. Try them out and see if you can try and save money on your hydro bill!!

  • Turn off all desktop computers when they’re not being used. Updates can always be downloaded on the next boot up. Desktop computers use an incredible amount of energy to be kept on daily. Each component inside a desktop computer is powered on during its use, even if you’re not fully using it.
  • Turn off all gaming systems when not in use. Use the power saving function to allow updates if you prefer. You’d be surprised at how much energy a gaming system such as Xbox or a PlayStation can consume daily, if it’s left on to just sit there.
  • Stereo equipment such as an amplifier can use a lot of energy when it’s being used at a peak level, and again, each component is powered on even if it’s not being used. Speakers and subwoofers are considered a part of that amplifier energy. Keep the amplifier off when not in use and allow the amp to have proper airflow around it so it doesn’t overheat when used at a peak level.
  • Baseboard heaters are huge energy suckers. A lot of homes still use baseboard heating products and they can contribute to very high energy bills if not used and maintained properly. Setting these devices at an optimal temperature is tedious but not impossible. Here’s a blog on how to get the most out of your baseboard heating system!
  • Furnaces, Heat pumps, AC units and Electric Hot water tanks can use a lot of energy if not used properly. If your home has an electric hot water tank you should limit the time for showers and baths and only use the dishwasher if it’s full. As for heat pumps, something BC Hydro is pushing hard onto consumers, can also run up energy. Like a furnace, a heat pump should be set to a maintainable temperature during the day and at night. Optimal temperature is 21 degrees during the day and 17 at night. Don’t forget that most heat pumps can reverse and cool the home during the summer time. Just keep the temperature at 21 degrees and set to cool. Constantly adjusting the temperature confuses the unit and a waste of energy has then become a problem becuase the unit has to work harder to get to a new temperature and maintain it all over again. The same goes for an AC unit. Set it to a temperature and leave it. Do not adjust it until the next day.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer at a fuller level and set to the manufacturer cold level. The fridge and freezer are always working to keep the food cold and safe and contributes to your everyday energy use because the units are always on, but they use less energy than you think! An empty fridge is an unhappy fridge and is a waste of energy. Unplug fridges that are not being used properly.. so do not keep 6 cans of beer in a little beer fridge. Fill it or unplug it. Defrost those little fridges each month to maintain a proper temperature.
  • Plug in heaters. These devices can use up to 1500 watts of power and can easily warp speed your energy bill if used all day long. Never use a plug in heater unattended. Never use with an extension cord or a power bar. The unit should be directly plugged into a socket on its own. Consider it an appliance and always unplug it when not in use. Let cool before putting it away. Maintain it by keeping it dust free.
  • Keep small appliances that are used sporadically unplugged! Toasters, counter top elements, kettles, and air fryers shouldn’t be plugged in when not in use. Always unplug an airfryer and countertop element after you’re done with them. Microwaves and programmable coffee machines are fine to be left plugged in.
  • Stoves and ovens. Most homes have one and again they need to be maintained in order function properly. Keep the oven clean and don’t peak by opening and closing the door. Peak through the provided window. Maintain the burners by keeping them clean and use the proper pot for the correct element.
  • Use the dryer less. A clothes dryer is like an oven and uses a lot of energy because of a large heating element. Consider hanging clothes to dry if you have a small family. Use the dryer to replenish the softness and remove static for 10 minutes on low.
  • Discard damaged charging cords. Keeping charging cords plugged in doesn’t consume energy, seriously they don’t, but they can be a Fire Risk if they’re damaged in anyway. Never use a damaged cord to charge your devices. Replace it immediately
  • Light bulbs. Consider switching to LED lighting. This type of bulb has become standard and is much cheaper than they were 10 years ago. If you switch to LED you can keep the lights on without a fuss! If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, well, those will definitely contribute to your daily power consumption and will rack it up over the long term within the billing period. Consider switching to a more environmentally friendly way to light up your home. Do not use CFE light bulbs and get rid of them if you do, particularly the ones without a dome! Those are the bulbs that sprial around. Florescent bulbs can cause long term health issues if you sit too close. Get rid of them! CFE bulbs are the original replacement of the incandescent bulb back in 2010.
  • Everything else is used sporadically like LED lights, charging your phone, fans, air purifiers, watching tv without a sound bar or amp, a heating blanket, hair dryers, and the small list goes on and on. These devices will contribute to your daily power consumption when being used but will never rack it up.

You can check your daily usage on the BC Hydro website by signing up! You’ll need your account number to sign up! Every day after 8 am you can see how much kWh was used the previous day! Make a goal to reduce your usage. – PJXM News photo

This table here shows the cost of energy used each day. If you become an energy expert you can reduce the cost easily! Set goals and work through our tips provided. – PJXM News photo

Look at what the neighbours use for their power usage each day compared to what is used at PJXM. – PJXM News photo

* Online survey conducted by Majid Khoury of 600 British Columbians in a relationship in January 2023, margin of error +/-4%.

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