The Canucks have turned out the lights on the Blackhawks, Predators and the province of British Columbia this spring.
According to a spokesperson for BC Hydro, the electricity utility for British Columbia, energy usage across the province goes down during Canucks' playoff games as more people are tuned into their televisions rather than doing anything else.
Chris Brumwell, the Director of Community and Media Relations for BC Hydro, said the drop in energy usage during Games 5 and 6 against Nashville was equivalent to turning off 13 million compact fluorescent light bulbs, a two percent decline from the normal activity. He said the conservation during Game 7 against Chicago equaled the turning off of 48 million light bulbs, which was a 3.6 percent dip.
This is the first time BC Hydro has monitored energy use during Canucks playoff games. Brumwell, who was the Canucks Media Relations Director from 1998-2005, said the utility company did the same thing during the 2010 Olympics.
"The drop in electricity use is a great illustration of the passion people have for the Canucks all across the province of BC," Brumwell told NHL.com. "When the games are on, people are glued to their TVs or radios, and that's it. The streets are empty and people seem to be huddled in their living rooms and nowhere else, so electricity use is naturally down."
What surprises Brumwell is that there was still a fairly significant dip in energy usage for Games 5 and 6 against Nashville despite 5 p.m. local start times for those games. Game 7 against Chicago was a 7 p.m. PT start time.
"The start times for the Canucks' playoff games have mostly ranged between 5-7 p.m., which is typically when most people are getting home, turning on their lights, making dinner, going online, etc.," Brumwell said. "Not so much during Canucks' playoff games. People are watching the games, and not doing much else.
"Call it a case of accidental conservation, but electricity use is down quite a bit when the Canucks are on the ice."
Brumwell said it should be interesting to see if the trend continues into the Western Conference Finals and, perhaps, into the Stanley Cup Final.
"It's a bit difficult to anticipate, especially since the days are getting longer and the start times to the games are often earlier, but it's surely not a stretch to predict that the province-wide Conference Finals buzz will result in lower electricity use during games," Brumwell said. "I know everyone at BC Hydro is hoping we can continue to monitor this for eight more wins."
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