In 1989, BC Hydro launched a program that would revolutionize how British Columbians lived, how businesses achieved their bottom lines, and how building codes and appliance standards were written.
It was a simple but game-changing idea called Power Smart. Since then, Power Smart has become a household name in B.C., synonymous with the efficient use of electricity. It is one of the greatest Canadian conservation-marketing campaigns in a generation.
Power Smart has affected every B.C. resident, whether through their use of the popular Refrigerator Buy-Back Program or the CFL light bulb, which has now replaced the old-fashioned incandescent. Power Smart did nothing less than transform BC Hydro into a cultural force that sold the concept of electricity conservation to its customers — a counterintuitive, creative, and bravely progressive achievement.
Using electricity more efficiently, rather than continually generating more, has brought significant savings to residential, commercial, and industrial consumers. And it’s brought a new awareness, both to the public and within BC Hydro itself, of the fine balance between producing and conserving electricity in a world that can’t afford to squander its natural resources. This is the story of how that transformation came to be, and of the people who made it happen.