City's, BC Hydro's Energy Challenge heating up among local families

"This challenge has been great because we recently bought an old drafty home and had no idea how to make it more energy efficient," says Britney Bellwood. 

The first two weeks of the City of Campbell River and BC Hydro's home energy challenge have been full of moments captured on video that are sure to keep you entertained. The Power Down Campbell River home energy video challenge began on April 6, and has five families fighting to lower their energy bills and capture the funniest video footage during their energy conservation journey. Only one family will win the grand prize of $1,500 towards a home energy retrofit at the end of the 30-day challenge.

"I've been so impressed by the creative footage that the families have captured so far," says Amy van den Hooven, the City's Energy Challenge Coordinator. "It's a close race between the families, and the judges are really looking forward to seeing what they're going to come up with during the last two weeks of the competition."

"We've had a blast filming our energy conservation tricks," says Jennifer Loeb, one of the Energy Challenge participants. "One of the projects that my family completed in the first two weeks was a homemade solar oven made of an old cardboard box and aluminum foil. We've cooked vegetables, noodles and cookies in it. I've even been able to boil water in the solar oven!"

During the first week of the competition, an energy monitor was installed in each home. The monitor measures how much energy each home is using and how much it costs. The five families also received a home energy audit from City Green Solutions to give them ideas about how they can make their homes more energy efficient.

"I really enjoyed visiting the homes of all the energy challenge families," says Zak Cross, an energy auditor form City Green Solutions.

"They are all eager to lower their environmental impact and learn about how they can make their homes more energy efficient."

"This challenge has been great because we recently bought an old drafty home and had no idea how to make it more energy efficient," says Britney Bellwood, another Energy Challenge participant "We've learned about so many changes that we can make to save money and hopefully win this competition - like insulating our attic, switching to energy-efficient lighting and sealing cracks around our windows and door frames."

The footage that each family captures during the energy challenge will be made into a professionally-produced film about home energy conservation.

This film will be shared in local schools, on Shaw TV and Facebook, and premiered at Campbell River's 2014 Earth Week film festival.

To watch the five families tell Campbell River their energy conservation stories and to learn how you can reduce your monthly energy bill, visit the Sustainable Campbell River Facebook page. People can also monitor the 30-day journey on the City's Facebook page and website www.campbellriver.ca.