Crawl Across the Ocean

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just Under the Wire

I see that B.C. Hydro has introduced a two tier set of rates whereby anyone using more than 1,350kwh of electricity over two months will be charged a higher rate. I checked my consumption and my highest two month period over the last two years topped out at around 450kwh, so there's not too much to worry about on a personal front, I guess.

In general, it seems like a smart way to cut overall electricity use. One concern is that in the long run we're better off using electricity (which is generally renewable here in B.C.) than natural gas (which isn't) and this rule might encourage people to stick with gas rather than electric heat for their houses.

Another concern is that it might have been more fair/effective to vary the target based on region as some parts of the province (Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island) have a climate that makes it much easier to stay under this threshold and other parts of the province have a climate that makes it pretty difficult.

Of course, higher consumption is higher consumption, but the incentive to conserve won't be very effective in areas where everyone can easily stay below the limit without conserving, nor in areas where even exceptional efforts aren't enough to reduce the usage below the threshold.

On the other hand, maybe the rule provides some compensation for us poor Vancouverites forced to live in little apartments due to high (albeit falling!) housing prices, while folks in other parts of the province can take advantage of slightly less crazy housing prices to buy detached homes...

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  • How the hell do you manage to have such a low electricity bill?

    We never - NEVER - turn on the heat and have no air conditioning (helps when you live in Victoria and share walls on three sides), use CFL bulbs, all our appliances are power smart, etc... and yet, here we are, hitting the 1500 kwh point. The only thing I can think of is that we actually cook at home. A lot. The past several months I've been doing a lot of canning and preserving too - which equals hours of labouring over a hot stove.

    If you have tips, I'm all ears.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:09 AM  

  • Well the main thing is that I live in an apartment, so neither my laundry nor my hot water contributes to my electricity usage.

    Aside from that, there is just one of me, so that probably helps as well.

    By Blogger Declan, at 10:02 PM  

  • Like you, I think it's a generally good idea.

    I wonder what fraction of homes in the parts of the province that are less temperate ( bloody cold in the winter ) are heated with electricity now? A very small percentage would be my guess.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 12:41 AM  

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