From left

City energy initiative wins award

Excellence award from UBCM received for innovative Power Down campaign in the spring

The city’s innovative energy conservation challenge, which employed the use of social media, earned Campbell River accolades recently.

At last week’s council meeting, the city was presented with an excellence award from UBCM (Union of B.C. Municipalities) as well as an honourable mention plaque from the Community Energy Association.

Pat Bell from the Community Energy Association attended the meeting Oct. 21 to present council with the Climate and Energy Action award.

Bell said Campbell River’s Power Down Campbell River was selected by a judging panel for an honourable mention because of the innovation behind creating a reality-TV inspired energy challenge which pitted families against one another to see who could reduce their energy consumption the most. A professionally produced film highlighted each family’s journey and was presented at the Tidemark Theatre.

“Power Down Campbell River will provide inspiration to other local governments in B.C.,” Bell said. “This initiative will be showcased on the Community Energy Association website and through the range of services we provide to B.C. local governments.”

From April 6 to May 4, 2013, Campbell River’s Bellwood-Behan, Klein, Loeb, Millward and Seldon families competed in the city and BC Hydro’s first Home Energy Video Challenge. Through creative efforts like solar ovens and bike blenders, along with dedicated attention to a reduction in home energy consumption, every family lowered their hydro bill by at least $100

over the month.

The Millward family won the grand prize of $1,500 toward a home energy retrofit of their choice.

The project caught the attention of not only the Community Energy Association, but UBCM.

Coun. Claire Moglove, who sits on the executive, said while she recused herself from voting because Campbell River was a finalist, she heard from her colleagues at September’s UBCM convention that Campbell River’s project was very “highly rated.”

Moglove said Campbell River was up against projects from Delta, Langley, Kelowna, Sparwood, and Surrey.

Both Coun. Andy Adams, who accepted the award at UBCM and then presented it to council last week, and Moglove thanked city staff for its efforts.

“They really did a first class job of engaging the community and then hosting the event at the Tidemark, so great job to staff,” Adams said.