B.C. residents urged to power the Games through conservation

Vancouver ? BC Hydro launched today a drive to get 210,000 British Columbians to reduce their energy consumption by 10 per cent by 2010. If this conservation challenge is met, the province will save the equivalent of the electricity needed to power the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

?The 2010 Games will focus the attention of the world on B.C. and this is an opportunity for British Columbians to step up and show leadership in electricity conservation,? said Premier Gordon Campbell. ?Conservation is key to achieving two goals of the B.C. Energy Plan ? making B.C. electricity self-sufficient by 2016 and meeting half of our province?s future electricity needs through conservation by 2020.?

British Columbians can officially set a conservation target of 10 per cent by joining Team Power Smart at www.bchydro.com. They?ll get access to tools and resources to help them reach that target and can track their progress and see how they compare with other British Columbians. Participants will have a chance to win prizes, including Olympic Games tickets.

John Furlong, CEO of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), was one of the first to become a member of Team Power Smart. ?Together with BC Hydro, Vancouver 2010 shares a deep commitment to sustainability,? said Furlong. ?Team Power Smart shows you how simple lifestyle changes can add up to make a big difference. With only 319 days until the 2010 Winter Games, I urge people to take action now and join the team.? ?At BC Hydro, we encourage our customers to use energy-efficient products and adopt energy-saving behaviours,? said BC Hydro President and CEO Bob Elton. ?But the first and most important step is for individual customers to make the decision to adopt a conservation culture and this campaign is a fun way to give them an incentive to do that.?

If 210,000 British Columbians joined Team Power Smart and met their conservation goals, the electricity saved would amount to 92 gigawatt hours ? enough to meet the electricity needs of 8,300 homes for an entire year. The 2010 Games are expected to use 80 gigawatt hours. In addition, through its Power Smart programs, BC Hydro is working with VANOC to ensure the Games and its venues, such as the Richmond Olympic Oval and the Whistler Athletes Village, are energy-efficient.