The thick blanket of snow in Trail likely has many tucking inside to stay warm, maybe catching up on chores or better yet, a television show or two.
What’s also coming up in this latest ‘snowmaggedon’ is the increased pull the cold front has on both the electrical grid and natural gas network.
That’s why FortisBC’s message regarding a survey of 1,000+ British Columbians is particularly timely — for the winter months but also year round — as it shows approximately nine of 10 respondents are actively trying to reduce their energy consumption and eight in 10 are trying to lower greenhouse gas emissions in their homes.
“It’s really positive to see how many British Columbians understand the different ways they can reduce their energy use and how improving household efficiency is an effective way to do this,” said FortisBC’s Alicia Hearn. “We’re here to support British Columbians reach their energy efficiency goals by offering affordable ways to help them lower their energy use and emissions through our energy efficiency programs.”
Also encouraging, is that over the past year, 30 per cent of British Columbians said they engage more in energy conservation behaviors than they did before.
As pandemic restrictions have gradually eased, the majority of respondents (86 per cent) said that they will continue to apply energy saving measures into the future.
“What we’ve seen on our system over the years is that through policies and high-efficiency technologies, for example, British Columbians are able to purse higher levels of energy efficiency in their homes and we continue to see average household energy use drop significantly,” said Hearn.
In fact, British Columbia continues to lead the nation in making energy efficient choices and was recognized for the third year in a row by Efficiency Canada, receiving the top national ranking among all provinces for its commitment to energy efficiency policies.
According to survey results, the strongest motivation among British Columbians to reduce their energy use was, of course, to help lower their monthly energy costs (89 per cent), followed closely by 83 per cent saying energy efficiency measures made their home more comfortable and 82 per cent saying that lowering energy use is an important way for them to help reduce the effects of climate change.
Even in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when about half of survey respondents reported their energy use increased due to spending more time at home, the majority of British Columbians (74 per cent) were aware of the importance in taking the necessary steps to reduce their energy use.
Many of them reported taking a variety of actions including: 72 per cent said they wash most laundry in cold water; 85 per cent said they wear warmer clothing instead of turning up the heat; and when the heat was on, 65 per cent said they set their thermostat between 17 C and 20 C.
Further illustrating how energy efficiency has improved over time, FortisBC notes that 20 years ago (2002), the average household used about 104 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas a year. Households are now using about 78 GJ a year, a decrease of almost 25 per cent. With more innovative technology coming into the market and ongoing funding for energy efficient upgrades, FortisBC says it expects this number will continue to drop over the coming years.