By GWYDION MORRIS
Feb. 6, 2014
P.E.I. has what it takes to be a leader in the renewable energy field, said a spokesperson for Maritime Electric during a presentation at Holland College hosted by the Green Machine.
Wind turbines are only going to grow on P.E.I. and more Islanders are reducing the energy they use at home, said Maritime Electric spokesperson Kim Griffin.
Twenty per cent of P.E.I.’s energy comes from wind turbines and that number is set to grow to 25 per cent by the end of the year, she said.
“We can control our own destiny and fuel sources.”
Islanders have concerns that their power bills are becoming increasingly expensive, but Griffin said 10 to 15 per cent can be saved by simply turning appliances off when not in use.
Maritime Electric’s winter program was an incentive where Islanders could save 10 per cent off their power bill by reducing their energy usage by 10 per cent. The program was a huge success with 16,000 participants, said Griffin.
“People really want to do the right thing.”
One family turned their fridge off for the month of December and stored their meat outside, said Griffin. A second beer fridge is common in some island homes, but it’s costing an additional $8 a month, she added.
Griffin said she had heard from people who left their TVs on at home to keep their pets company while they were at work.
Lights are a big waster at home, said Griffin, making up for 28 per cent of a power bill. Even switching to LED lights can greatly reduce a bill.
“It’s incredible how accustomed we’ve become to having everything on.”
Another program by Maritime Electric over Christmas was $5 for every set of halogen Christmas brought in for disposal. Griffin said $25,000 was given out by the end.
“I though we’d only get a couple hundred people.”
Sara Underwood, leader of the college’s Green Machine, said people are so used to buying items they don’t need, that they’re becoming used to excess.
“It’s overblown consumerism.”
Underwood said a friend of hers once bought a $60 lipstick. As a society we need to move away from the overly expensive stuff, she added.
“Who really needs a BMW?”