Whitecaps trio join Team Power Smart

Energy conservation has become a hot topic of debate in recent times, and Vancouver Whitecaps FC are doing their part to support this cause.

As part of a BC Hydro initiative to encourage British Columbia residents to use less electricity, three Whitecaps members in president Bob Lenarduzzi, men’s team midfielder Martin Nash, and former women’s team captain Andrea Neil have been ‘drafted’ into Team Power Smart.

Link: Video of the "Draft"

Led by the Premier of British Columbia and ‘General Manager’ Gordon Campbell, as well as BC Hydro president/CEO and ‘Head Coach’ Bob Elton, 22 prominent British Columbians have come on board Team Power Smart to assist in achieving two goals of the BC Energy Plan. They are making the province electricity self-sufficient by 2016 and meeting half of BC’s future electricity needs through conservation by 2020.

Team Power Smart includes a number of familiar faces, with two-time NBA basketball star Steve Nash - brother of Martin - named as Team Captain. BC Lions football legend Lui Passaglia and Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler were drafted in from the professional sports community, while key individuals from the world of media, entertainment, and business made up the high-profile promotion group. The team was unveiled at an official press gathering at the Steve Nash Sports Club in downtown Vancouver on Thursday morning.

The purpose of the initiative is to encourage British Columbians to use less energy in their daily lives and help lessen the impact of energy use on the environment through conservation. BC Hydro’s long-term forecast shows that in the next two decades, the province will require as much as 45 per cent more electricity in the next 20 years. The changes needed to reach these goals seem easy enough. They can be as simple as turning the lights off when you leave a room, unplugging battery chargers once they are used, turning your household thermostat down one degree, or installing compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in place of incandescent light bulbs.

Such differences could have a significant impact. In an example provided by BC Hydro, if all families in BC switched to cold water washing of their clothes, then the province would save $87 million and enough electricity to wash over 130 million loads of clothes in a front loading clothes washer.

As one of the Team Power Smart Leaders, Nash took the opportunity to have an in-home audit to see what things both the midfielder and his family can do to save energy. “We wanted to learn about it, to find how we could save energy and in what ways,” he old whitecapsfc.com. “They did some neat tests like registering how much air escapes from your house and then how to stop heat from escaping out of your home. We’re also in the process of changing all our lights to compact fluorescent bulbs. We are also using power bars, which we can use to plug in all of our sockets to. That way, we can turn the power bar off before we go to bed at night and not have an appliance waste more energy.”

For head coach Elton, who also has experience helping the Whitecaps women’s reserve team in recent years, seeing the club’s involvement in Power Smart is encouraging to his company’s goals. “The Whitecaps is an organization that reaches out to all different types of people,” he told whitecapsfc.com after Thursday’s launch. “I think young people are important to this project because if they get the conservation bug, then that’s going to make a big difference. You’ve got Martin and Andrea, who are Whitecaps players who will appeal to the younger generation, and then you’ve got Bobby Lenarduzzi, who is an icon in sport here in Vancouver and a community leader. We’re very pleased to have them all involved.”

Lenarduzzi himself is impressed with BC Hydro’s policy to encourage energy conservation. “It’s great that BC Hydro are championing this initiative because they make more money if we use more power, so in spite of that, it’s great they are figuring ways to conserve energy for the consumer and the environment as well,” he said. “For us, it’s good to be associated with the people that are involved in the initiative from the various companies and various professional clubs throughout the city of Vancouver.”

BC Hydro encourages everyone in British Columbia to join Team Power Smart by signing up through the initiative’s website. Click here to find out more information on conserving energy in your home or business.