Residents in Campbell River are vying for five spots in the city's Energy Challenge, which will video document 30 days of energy efficient home challenges and turn those clips into a film about the project.

After a series of interviews with families of all ages, the chosen five families will film their intent to conserve energy for one month in their home. To help them on the journey will be a complimentary iPAD and energy monitors purchased from Terratek Energy.

"Our goal is to have fun and engage the community in creative ways to conserve energy," says Amy Van den Hooven, the Project Coordinator and a coop student from UBC. After the challenge the city will compile the homemade videos into a short film with the goal of reaching out to film festivals and encouraging other communities to try similar programs.

"It's an opportunity to get people interested by watching  a movie with someone they might know who is involved, rather than reading an article talking about ways to conserve," says Amy. "By sharing experiences we're hoping others can see that even simple habit changes can make big changes."

The winning family will be based on variety of criteria from conservation efforts to creativity, and will receive $1500 towards a home energy retrofit.  There will also be several prizes available for the other participants.

The Energy Challenge is a partnership with BC Hydro and stems from a similar, equally successful compost program initiated last year in the city. It also follows on the heels of the Home Energy Rebate Program, which offered 100 free home energy audits and was quickly filled. The keen interest from homeowners provided the motivating push for the implementation of the Home Energy Challenge, which is another step in the right direction to reducing Campbell River’s ecological footprint. the Energy Challenge and home energy rebate program is part of Campbell River’s efforts to implement the Community Energy and Emissions Plan, which targets residential energy conservation and building retrofits as action areas. The Energy Challenge is a way to encourage and inspire homeowners to make energy efficient retrofits by sharing the energy saving stories of the five Campbell River families. By 2020, the city's goal is to have 2% of existing buildings retrofit annually to reduce the City’s emissions.


"I am really looking forward to the community connection, and meeting people and learning about the challenges they face with energy consumption," says Amy, who adds that her time spent in the forward thinking city has been eye-opening. "A lot of municipalities don't have sustainability departments, where there is an opportunity to engage, and educate and make changes.  Campbell River is doing a great job with that," she says.

Check the city's website or upcoming Facebook page for updates on the challenge. The five participating families will be announced March 25.