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British Columbians understand the urgency to improve energy efficiency in their homes
Dec 30, 2021
Survey shows saving on monthly bills, improving home comfort and climate action among the top reasons to up energy efficiency
Surrey, BC ̶ December 30, 2021: While saving energy may be on some British Columbians’ list of new year’s resolutions, a recent survey from FortisBC Energy Inc. and FortisBC Inc. (together, “FortisBC”) found that it’s already top of mind for many British Columbians. According to this survey, 81 per cent of British Columbians felt lowering the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions their home produces was a key reason to reduce their energy use. In fact, British Columbia (B.C.) continues to lead the nation in making energy efficient choices and was recognized for the third year in a row by Efficiency Canada, receiving the top national ranking among all provinces for its commitment to energy efficiency policies.
However, according to those surveyed, reducing emissions wasn’t the top reason to improve household efficiency. The strongest motivation among British Columbians to reduce their energy use was to help lower their monthly energy costs (89 per cent), followed closely by 83 per cent saying energy efficiency measures made their home more comfortable and 82 per cent saying they feel lowering energy use is an important way for them to help reduce the effects of climate change.
Even in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when about half of survey respondents reported their energy use increased due to spending more time at home, the majority of British Columbians (74 per cent) were aware of the importance in taking the necessary steps to reduce their energy use. Many of them reported taking a variety of actions they’ve learned to help lower their energy use including:
- 72 per cent saying they wash most laundry in cold water,
- 85 per cent saying they wear warmer clothing instead of turning up the heat, and when the heat was on,
- 65 per cent saying they set their thermostat between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.
“It’s really positive to see how many British Columbians understand the different ways they can reduce their energy use and how improving household efficiency is an effective way to do this,” said Alicia Hearn, program manager, conservation awareness and marketing strategy at FortisBC. “We’re here to support British Columbians reach their energy efficiency goals by offering affordable ways to help them lower their energy use and emissions through our energy efficiency programs.”
Over the past year, 30 per cent of British Columbians said they engage more in energy conservation behaviors than they did before. As pandemic restrictions have gradually eased, the majority of them said (86 per cent) that they will continue to apply energy saving measures into the future.
“What we’ve seen on our system over the years is that through policies and high-efficiency technologies, for example, British Columbians are able to purse higher levels of energy efficiency in their homes and we continue to see average household energy use drop significantly,” said Hearn.
Back in 2002, the average household used about 104 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas a year. Households are now using about 78 GJ a year, a decrease of almost 25 per cent. With more innovative technology coming into the market and ongoing funding for energy efficient upgrades, FortisBC believes this number will continue to drop over the coming years.
Every year, FortisBC deploys a wide range of energy efficiency programs and incentives to help British Columbians use less energy and reduce GHG emissions. By the end of 2021, FortisBC expects to exceed $120 million in funding to support energy efficiency in B.C. homes and businesses. For more energy saving tips visit fortisbc.com/tips.
An online survey was conducted with 1,066 British Columbian residents between September 7 to 18, 2021 by a third-party vendor. A probability sample of 1,066 carries a margin of error ±3.0 percentage points 95 per cent of the time.
FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC, a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, renewable gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC employs approximately 2,550 British Columbians and serves over 1.2 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,335 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 50,182 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. use the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit fortisinc.com.