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Energy Limbo Contest: How low can you go?

We are dependent upon energy for every part of our lives, from waking up in the morning to the sound of an alarm clock or cell phone, to the hot shower before bed. The costs of goods and services are also directly linked to the cost of energy, so as the price of electricity increases, the amount it costs to eat in a restaurant will increase and, as fuel prices increase, so will your grocery bill. Despite this intricate role that energy plays in our lives, we often take this luxury for granted and do not often consider what the true costs of energy are. To enter the ‘Energy Limbo’ competition e-mail the Department of Energy at energy@gov.bm and entry forms with requirements will be forwarded to you. The deadline for entries is December 21 2012.

It is estimated that we spend $2,700 each per year on energy produced by fossil fuels. As none of us are immune to the effects of the increases in the cost of living, and this amount is likely to increase rather than decrease in the future, now is the time to consider how we as individuals, families, or businesses can take action to conserve energy, save money and as a consequence reduce our use of and dependence on fossil fuels.

Energy conservation is the avoidance of energy consumption, usually through adopting new or changing our present habits or behaviour.

In order to conserve energy, it is essential to have the ability to relate our habits and behaviours directly to our patterns of energy consumption. Just as most of us have a scale in our houses to weigh ourselves, we need to have some means of measuring how we are doing with regard to energy use. Without the ability to monitor our energy use, it is difficult, if not impossible, to determine which of our habits/behaviors need to change.

It is with energy conservation in mind that the Department of Energy created a competition to encourage residents of Bermuda to reduce their electricity use. Known as the ‘Energy Limbo: How Low Can You Go’ Contest, the participants compete to reduce the amount of electricity they use in their homes over the course of 10 months.

To reduce their energy use participants use real-time energy monitoring devices called The Energy Detective (TED). The monitors provide real time information about the amount of electricity used so the users can modify their behaviour and their use of electricity accordingly.

Previous participants have saved as much as 38 percent on their electricity bills with the average savings per participant being over 11 percent in this year’s competition. They did this largely by turning off lights and appliances, unplugging those things that were not in use and in general by becoming more aware of their energy use.

The Department of Energy is now seeking participants for the 2013 contest which will start on January 1, 2013 and run through November 1, 2013. We are limited to taking 25 contestants in total, and contestants are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Anyone can enter the competition as long as they have lived in the same dwelling since January 2012. Participants don’t need to own the home in which they reside, but they do need to have their own meter and tenants will need to seek their landlord’s permission to participate.

The Department of Energy will also need access to participants’ online BELCO accounts to monitor the kilowatt hours used, in addition to the length and dates of the billing cycle.

All information will be kept confidential and once the contest is over the account information will be destroyed. The contestants can then change their access codes if they wish. No personal information will be shared with any other party, not even other contestants.

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The Department of Energy have created a competition to encourage residents of Bermuda to reduce their electricity use. Known as the ‘Energy Limbo: How Low Can You Go’ Contest, the participants compete to reduce the amount of electricity they use in their homes over the course of 10 months.

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Published December 06, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated December 06, 2012 at 9:36 am)

Energy Limbo Contest: How low can you go?

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