A friendly challenge designed to pit colleagues against one another was a win for the team at CFB Esquimalt that supports energy management at the base. It also helped to launch a new webpage that teaches tips on reducing energy use.

The Earth Hour competition – where the occupants of two buildings were challenged to reduce their power for one hour on March 24, 2018 – served as the perfect opportunity to get word out about a new energy management webpage that teaches people how to reduce energy use at the base.

“The energy management plan on base is two-pronged: technical and behavioural,” said Derek Knudsen, DCC Technical Specialist, Real Property Management (Energy Management).

Knudsen, who supports DND's Real Property Operations (Pacific), says these power-reducing contests are a good fit for DND because of its commitment to environmental sustainability through its Defence Energy and Environment Strategy.

The new webpage focuses on the behavioural side and is designed to be a hub of tips. When it came time to officially launch, the team decided the Earth Hour challenge would be the perfect hook. Bernays East and Bernays West, two similar military residences with 250 people accommodated in each, were challenged to see who could use the least energy during a one-hour period on Earth Hour.

“We heard that there were lights out, people went to communal areas to watch TV, and that some people turned down their thermostats to reduce heating demand,” said Knudsen who worked with Kim Arklie, a mechanical engineering co-op student from University of Victoria, on the initiative.

In the end, it was Bernays East that won the Earth Hour competition – using 29.3 kw/hours less than Bernays West – enough to power a toaster for 24 hours straight.

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