Power Down Challenge Success Stories 2018

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Congratulations Medicine Hat and area on making the Power Down Challenge a success!!

In total, 349 participating households used 81,566 kWh, or 22.8%, less electricity in July 2018 than in July 2017 - an average of 233.7 kWh per household.

Collectively, participants saved approximately 38 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released. This is the equivalent of taking 8 cars off the road for one year or the annual consumption of 10 residential houses!

All prizes were awarded in the form of City of Medicine Hat ("CMH") Gift Cards.

Winners:
  • Grand Prize: Cam Clark, $750
  • Second Place: Sofia Bailey, $500
  • Third Place: Charles Gruning, $250
Winners of the random draw for $50 CMH Gift Cards:
  • Brayden Bertsch
  • Milo White
  • LesleyAnn Collins
  • Colin Davies
  • Vicki Edel
  • Susan Sehn
  • Melinda/Peter Bensler
  • Mackenzie Johnson
  • Rod Evans
  • Phil Bosch

Recognition goes to the residents of North East Crescent Heights for having the highest number of participants and to Cypress County for the greatest reduction in electricity.

We've asked participants to tell us what steps they took to reduce their consumption. Here's what they had to say:

We have a family of 6, my wife and me plus four kids ranging from 12 to 20 years of age. We also have frequent guests and exchange students staying with us. Our home and family typically use quite a lot of energy.

I have been gradually becoming more concerned about our energy consumption, and last year decided to take the step of installing solar panels on our home. This has obviously made a big difference in our use of power from the 'grid'. We also changed most of our light bulbs to LEDs over the course of the last several months. These changes gave us a good head start on cutting our consumption numbers, but this was only the start of the changes we made in July.

When I heard about the contest in June, I asked my wife a question that resulted in a sideways look - "How do you feel about no air conditioning in July?". We did survive several years in this house before installing air conditioning, so I thought we could handle it, but she was not convinced until the kids piped up and agreed that they could manage a little warmth. Then we looked at the other large energy users in our home. We disconnected the extra fridge in the basement. We turned off our (underused) hot tub. We were very judicious in watering the lawn, which in our home uses quite a bit of electricity. The end result of these changes was a fairly significant reduction in our overall power usage.

Moving forward, we are planning on replacing our main 20 year old fridge with a new energy efficient model, and will not use our second fridge any more. We keep our thermostat a little higher in the summer and a little lower in the winter. We turn the computers off at night, and have energy saving power bars on the electronics (TV, stereo, etc).

None of this will change the world on its own, but it is nice to be able to see that we can make some difference by making a few relatively simple changes.

Clark Family

We are the Grubert family! We have four boys and a golden lab. To reduce energy this month, we did not use our air conditioner at all! We spent time outdoors in the morning and at night and played inside in the basement during the afternoon. We also did not run our dryer at all this month! We typically wash and dry a couple loads of laundry every day, so this was a huge challenge for us! The air conditioner and dryer are our house's highest energy draw, so that is why we chose to reduce energy there!

Grubert Family

We turned off the power to three yard lights, I never used my dishwasher (which I really don’t like any how I just use it for the convenience) I never used the oven and the clothes dryer. We changed all of our light bulbs to LED as well. And we tried to use as much daylight as possible.

Odland Family

Hi there, we had taken our outside lights off of a timer and used a manual remote switch for when we wanted them on. The other thing we did was reduce the A/C use as much as possible even though this was a hot month. We made sure that most electronics were unplugged and have also changed all light fixtures over the last year to LED.

Scott and Bob

Some of the things I did were: unplug appliances, phones and computers. I did not turn on lights and used more natural light. I also used fans to cool the house instead of AC all the time.

Lorraine

I just open everything up/windows before I go to bed with a couple fans moving air around in my Mobile home.  In the morning before I go to work at 7am, I would close all windows and curtains. I have a couple ceiling fans on summer spin, and some large oscillating fans moving air around. I also close doors where rooms were not being used. I have a dog and cat so on real hot days AC (window) in living room is put on. A fan moves the cold air farther down in the trailer. I also have a Dehumidifier which makes a world of difference.  Humidity makes it hot and sticky but when it runs it makes a big difference.  I also UNPLUG what I am not using, use the proper light bulbs and have Energy Efficient appliances. The hot water tank is on medium/low. I hang my laundry out on my spinning clothes line. Love the Fresh smell when I go to bed. Do this All Summer!! So that is how I do it, to be Energy Efficient.

Arlene Sauer