Thursday, February 21, 2013

Living Green pays you to save

In the past I've described ways you can make money through energy conservation, above and beyond money you save buying less gas, oil, or electricity. And now I'm pleased to announce a new way: Living Green is offering a $100 restaurant voucher for the family who reduces their electricity use the most each month!
It’s easy to enter. Just send us a copy of your electric bill, we’ll calculate the reduction, and if you saved more than any other entrants that month, we’ll be treating you to a nice dinner!
Get your PowerStream bill and look at the box on the bottom left, under the heading “Hydro Consumption History”. It lists your most recent kWh/day usage, and that for previous periods going back a year. To keep it fair to different sizes of house and household, we’ll use the percent reduction rather than the nominal change.
On my own bill for January 2013, we used a modest 35 kWh/day, down from 43 in January 2012. That means we've reduced our usage almost 20%, which is pretty good, since we were diligent conservers already. But if you did better than that, you have a good chance of winning a prize, so send in your bill!
Prizes, you ask? Yes, to make it worth your while to save electricity and enter, each month we’ll award a $100 gift certificate to a different Barrie restaurant. The first four restaurant sponsors are the Crock & Block, St. Louis Bar &Grill, The North Restaurant and Spice Indian Cuisine. If you own a restaurant and would like to take part, please contact us. (Or if you like a particular restaurant and want them to sponsor this, please show them this article and have them get in touch). This contest is made possible by the generous sponsorships of local restaurants who share Living Green’s vision of sustainability by lowering our energy waste.
Of course, even if you don’t win, you still win, because by saving energy, you save money. And you can keep lowering your usage and enter again another month (although you can only win the prize once per year). If you’ve made a significant change in your energy usage, you’ll have 5-6 billing periods that reflect it.
To enter the contest, all you need do is send a scan (PDF or JPEG) of your bill to, or mail a copy to Living Green at P.O. Box 21071, Barrie ON, L4M 6J1. Each month we’ll announce the winner on our website, You can also read articles we have suggesting ways you can conserve energy.
If you’d like to be a prize sponsor, please contact and we’ll gladly add you to this wonderful local community program.
Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner under the title "Saving energy could result in a very nice meal".
Erich Jacoby-Hawkins is a director of Living Green and the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation

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