Power's never free, but your block heater can be

Cole Carruthers
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Everyone knows waking up in the middle of the night to plug and unplug vehicles is a slice of prairie winter fun, but SaskPower has a free alternative.

To thank customers for their continued efforts to conserve energy, the Crown corporation is offering a free block heater timer at select retailers around the province for the second year in a row.

The timers will be available in Moose Jaw at Sears and Peavey Mart over the weekends of Nov. 17 and 18 and Nov. 24 and 25. The public is reminded that supplies are limited and there is a strict limit of one per household.

“We’re working closely with customers to reduce and adjust electricity usage, which lessens the overall demand for power,” said Garry Tollefson, manager of SaskPower’s demand side management unit. “Many people don’t realize that a car or truck only needs to be plugged in for four hours to start.”

SaskPower estimates that about 266,000 households across the province plug in their vehicles during winter, but just 100,000 of them use a timer.

If all of these households used timers, SaskPower estimates, enough power would be saved to supply more than 5,000 homes, equivalent to taking 8,500 cars off the province's roads.

“The timers come pre-programmed, but you can easily set it to your own work schedule,” SaskPower spokesperson Tyler Hobson told the Times-Herald.

“A block heater can save customers up to $25 in electricity costs each year," he continued. "Plugging a car in for any longer than four hours at a time only wastes power and money, and puts more pressure on the environment due to the increased need for electricity in the province."

To learn more about SaskPower’s free block heater timer, visit saskpower.ca.

Organizations: SaskPower, Sears, Peavey Mart Times-Herald

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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