By Melissa Heald
Feb. 7, 2014
Islanders are willing to make sacrifices to conserve energy if it leads to significant savings, says Kim Griffin of Maritime Electric.
The manager of corporate communications and public affairs for Maritime Electric was speaking to students about ways Maritime Electric has encouraged their customers to conserve energy.
The event was hosted by Holland College’s Green Machine.
Griffin said Islanders are willing to make changes as long as those changes are simple and easy.
In November 2009 the company introduced the Winter Challenge program where customers could save 10 per cent on their electric bill if they consumed 10 per cent less energy throughout the month of December. Five lucky customers also had the chance to win free electricity for a year if they saved over 20 per cent or more.
Griffin said the program was a huge success and they heard testimonials from all over P.E.I. on how Islanders were consuming less energy.
“We had one customer unplug the freezer and bury the meat in the snow in the backyard.”
Griffin said it is important to think about the appliances a person has in their home and how much a person could save by simply unplugging them when they are not being used. She also suggested maybe rethinking that extra fridge just for the beer.
“You save about $8 if you get rid of that beer fridge.”
Griffin said a customer could see significant savings on their power bill by doing simple things like only using the dishwasher when there is a full load or switching from incandescent light bulbs to LED.
Although the campaign only ran for two years, Griffin said 50 per cent of those who took part are still conserving energy and saving.
Sara Underwood, the media and communications officer for Holland College and a staff member of the Green Machine, said last year the group concentrated on conserving water by encouraging students to use reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water but this year decided to focus on conserving energy as well as conserving water.
As part of their Use Your Brain campaign, the Green Machine has created stickers for light switches, said Underwood.
“It’s just a friendly reminder to turn off the lights.”