North Cowichan Household Challenge Week 1 check-in:

. FOCUS: HOME ENERGY USE

All of the five participating households had an energy audit, and had monitors installed in their homes to measure their energy use. Here’s how the experience is going so far:

Heather Taylor, Chemainus

We LOVE the monitors! I am obsessively checking it every time I turn on the stove, the iron, lights, toaster oven…ooooh and the hot tub…might just have to unplug it for a bit. We compared the first three days with the three days of the previous week and found we had decreased our consumption by 30 per cent. Amazing how reliant we are on lights. We’re limiting out toilet flushes to four times a day and eating by candle light…very romantic 🙂 Dog poo in the garbage weighs a lot. What do other people do with their dog poo? Was turned onto David Suzuki’s website and James has now made a dog poo septic in our back yard. I love it. And I’ve passed this on to my friends and coworkers with dogs.

Tyrone Mills, Somenos

Week one has been both enlightening and encouraging. Going into this challenge we thought we were already doing almost everything we could to conserve energy. The energy meter that was installed for us last weekend has helped us realize how much we could still do to improve. By giving us the ability to measure our consumption in real time, we have an opportunity to understand the impact that our choices throughout the day have on our overall energy footprint.

We managed to take our baseline energy consumption from 2,072W to 645W during the first week of the challenge. To put that in terms of dollars and cents, we were averaging roughly $5/day in electricity, we are now under $2.50/day. So our $150/month in electricity will be less than $75/month going forward. We aren’t done with the energy conservation, in fact it has become part of our routine to check the monitor when we turn on a TV, plug in a phone charger, etc. I’m not sure how much lower we can realistically get our daily consumption, but I’d like to see it below $2/day before the end of the fifth week.

One of the ideas our mentors shared with us was to save the bath water when our kids bathe and use that to water our plants and trees. What a great idea, I wish I’d thought of this months ago!

This coming week we add transportation to the challenge. This one will be tough as I have a long commute and odd hours, but it might be time to check Ride-Share again just in case.

Noni and Sean Battye, Maple Bay

Our first week of the household challenge was very interesting. The kids were quite excited to watch the monitor to see how much energy we were using at any given time and what the changes were if the oven were on, the toaster, or washing machine. We figured out how to check our water meter, weighed our garbage, and also have been watching our hydro use. The biggest differences we’ve seen this week have been in turning lights off, unplugging items not in use, and in shorter showers. Our goals for this week are to start focusing on local foods and getting some of the insulating products put into the sockets.

Franya Jedwab, Crofton

I talked to my son (who is six) and my partner and we talked about how much learning has already begun in our first week and after meeting with our wonderful mentor, Reed.

Reed took us through a very interesting and helpful questionnaire and it was useful to think about our own personal values and prior understanding about energy conservation and then to learn about what we can now do to improve our household energy consumption and conservation.

We have begun the process of changing out light bulbs to the CFL bulbs that came in our energy kit. The kit was a fun and interactive way to go through the importance of energy saving for the planet (and in our household).

Just Posted

Old-growth logging protesters block a road on Monday, June 14. This is not the blockade at Honeymoon Bay referred to in the story. (Facebook photo)
Old-growth logging protesters block RCMP access on road near Honeymoon Bay

Police were on their way to enforcement in Fairy Creek area when they were stopped

DAVID VAN DEVENTER
Cowichan Citizen and Lake Cowichan Gazette announce new publisher

David van Deventer has been with Black Press Media since 2014

Island Health is bringing a vaccination clinic to Lake Cowichan starting June 23. (Submitted)
COVID vaccine clinic coming to Lake Cowichan as area numbers lag

Clinic will operate at arena starting June 23

The Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society, which has been operating a treatment centre on land leased from the Nanoose First Nation for 35 years (pictured), has begun a fundraising campaign to open a new centre near Duncan. (Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society photo)
New Indigenous treatment centre to be built near Duncan

Centre will help survivors of residential schools

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Accident closes Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino

Watch DriveBC for updates on road closures

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read