Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Business & Economics Energy Industries

Power Smart

How A Simple Idea Revolutionized the Way We Use Electricity

by (author) Kerry Gold

Figure 1 Publishing
Initial publish date
Apr 2015
Energy Industries
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2015
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


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 ¾ 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.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Kerry Gold is a veteran journalist who's written for The Vancouver Sun and The Globe and Mail, among other publications. She is also the author of several books, including Michael Bublé: Onstage, Offstage and The White Spot Cookbook. She lives in Vancouver.

Other titles by