Monday, October 16, 2017

Being Power Smart and Saving Money

As a biologist and frugal mama, the combination of saving money and the environment are things that I really care about. Several years ago we learned about the Team Power Smart program which provided another incentive to try and reduce our energy usage as there are cash rewards. We were successful in the first year and continued to maintain that usage and therefore the rewards continued. How were we able to decrease our overall energy usage by 28% in that first year? BC Hydro has a fantastic list for saving electricity and these are the ones that we follow:

1. Blankets. The temperature in our home is a little lower than most in order to save but also because we have a very active family who always seem to be warm from running around. We love having extra blankets on our couch. Not only does it make our home look cozier, it sure feels that way too! We will often cuddle under them to read books or watch a family movie. Don't forget that slippers are awesome, too.

BC Hydro Power Saving Ideas

2. Manage your thermostat. We usually set our daytime temperature to 19 C and our evening to 16 C. If we are going away, we change it so that we aren't wasting energy heating our home. If you have electric heat, lowering the temperature by 2 degrees can save you 5% on your bill.

BC Hydro Power Smart Thermostat

3. Open the dishwasher on the dry cycle. Either deselect it or if that is not an option, when the drying cycle comes on, manually turn the dial to the end of the cycle so that the heat turns off.

BC Hydro Power Saving Ideas

4. Hang laundry to dry. If you do need to use the dryer, put a dry towel in with the rest of the load to reduce the drying time! I grew up with a clothes line but our yard is not quite large enough for that and a simple drying rack works wonderfully.

5. Use natural light as much as possible. Rarely do we have lights on in our house during the day. The windows in our bedrooms all have black out blinds to help with temperature regulation. We do cover those large windows in our family room with a plastic film to retain the heat in the winter.

BC Hydro Power Smart using natural light

I really enjoy tracking our energy use data on our online account with BC Hydro. The graphs allow you to see your usage right down to the hour and compare to homes of similar size around yours as well as your own usage in the year prior.

BC Hydro consumption data graph

Above: this is a sample graph showing my home electricity usage for a one-month period, in comparison to homes nearby.

Right now with the Team Power Smart program we are trying to maintain the same usage as last year and are on track to do so–there is a $25 incentive for it.

Be sure to check out BC Hydro's website and follow along on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn how to lower your bill. BC Hydro is also currently hosting a contest for a chance to win a Samsung Family Hub smart fridge as well as other great prizes. To learn more about smart home technology and enter the contest visit

What do you find the most useful for saving energy? What is the incentive for you?


This post is sponsored by BC Hydro and opinions are my own.

Pin here for later:


  1. We do a lot of these things, but I'm always the cold one in the house so I try to keep it a bit warmer. We have solar panels and a large battery and charge up devices like our phones, tablets, flashlights etc. Sometimes we'll try to just use the devices we've charged, so we might snuggle up on the couch with the iPad and only use flashlights for one night. We treat it like a fun challenge and the kids think it's an adventure. I'm not sure how much it actually saves, but it's fun, and then we track the consumption going down for that evening and try to top it another time.

    1. I recently looked up our internet usage and was shocked with the number of devices on our network which all need to be charged! This is something I need to figure out. I think we could charge our devices when driving in our cars maybe to save energy? Like that you treat it like a challenge :)