Local group Powers Up to Power Down!

We all think it’s a good idea to try to cut our use of energy and water, but one local group is turning that idea into community action, and is inviting the public to join them.  Following on the heels of a successful water conservation challenge, members of the Kamloops Unitarian Universalist Fellowship are now getting ready to reduce their consumption of electricity.

“We’re piggybacking on BC Hydro’s Power Smart program, but since we’re doing  it as a group it’s a lot more fun!” says Gisela Ruckert, a member of the Social and Environmental Action Committee. “The challenge is open to the public – you don’t need to be a UU to take part.”

On Sunday, January 30th,  at 10:00 A.M. the UU’s, as they call themselves, will host a  discussion at the Valleyview Hall where Myles Gregory, a BC Hydro Power Smart Specialist, will explain how participating households can reduce their energy consumption by at least 10% per year and monitor their progress through the Power Smart website. Those who meet the 10% objective will receive $75 from BC Hydro. All participants will receive ongoing assistance, be eligible to win monthly prizes and  are invited to “recharge” their motivation at occasional social events like potlucks.

“Living in BC, where clean water and electricity are plentiful, does not excuse us from being responsible in their use. Taking only what we reasonably need is both ethical and economical. It also enables us to better relate to those in arid regions who must scramble each day for enough water to survive,” says Jan Greenwood, one of the Fellowship’s lay chaplains.

Last spring, thirteen households from within the Fellowship committed to making small changes within the home and in the way they used water. Reports received over a four month period showed the participants saved 450,000 litres of water on an annualized basis.

“Everyone talks about using less water- we wanted to see how much could be saved by simple measures such as installing low flow shower heads and being smarter in our water use,” says committee member Jim Gordon.  “It turned out each household saved about 34,400 litres per year.”

If the success of the water challenge is any indication, participants should be planning what to do with their BC Hydro rebate cheques when they come in.  If you would like to join the challenge or want to find out more about this initiative, contact Jan at (250) 374-0157 or go to www.uukam.bc.ca.

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