Get to Know: Elaine Cole, Energy Efficiency Administrator

As a long-time member of Hydro’s takeCHARGE team, Elaine Cole is a true energy efficiency champion. She has been helping customers save energy and money for over 10 years.

Where are you from and when did you first start working at Hydro?
I grew up in St. John’s – the youngest of a family of 8 children. I joined Hydro in 2009, just after the launch of the takeCHARGE program. Our core team have all been here since the beginning, bringing our customers tips, programs and ways to save.

What made you want to work at Hydro?
My background was in marketing with experience in the residential energy efficiency field. This job seemed to be the right combination of my skills and something that I would enjoy. Ten years later, I am passionate about what I do; working with customers, retailers and partners to bring our programs to the people of the province.

What’s the main focus of your current role?
It’s my job to help our customers save energy and save money by making them aware of the programs and offerings we provide. The residential and commercial energy efficiency programs that takeCHARGE offers help customers with rebates, energy saving tips, and other resources that make saving easy. Without them, we would not have been able to achieve an accumulated energy savings of more than 43,500 MWh since 2009.

Why do you think energy efficiency is so important?
Energy efficiency provides a low-cost, reliable resource that reduces customer bills and can also cost less than constructing new generation. It can drive economic growth, create jobs, healthier homes and help with climate change.

Tell us something about your job that people might find surprising.
Most people may not know the level of research, study and planning that occurs behind the scenes to provide customers with opportunities to conserve. The takeCHARGE programs have been successful in providing  education and fostering the development of a culture of energy conservation in the province. Hydro works with its customers every day to understand needs and drivers of electrical consumption, to ultimately support the achievement of sustainable energy savings.

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing first-hand the difference we make for our customers, to hear their stories about how they made an energy efficiency improvement to their home or participated in a program of ours. My favourite story was from a mother of a child who had a presentation from our takeCHARGE Kids-In-Charge school program. She told me how her child came home from school and started to turn off lights and TV’s and telling them what they had to do different if they wanted to save energy. They even went next door to their grandparent’s house and told them what to do! Kids are our future and getting them on board early with energy efficiency will hopefully make a better future for them and their families.

If there was one thing you could say about your job, what would it be?
My job is to help you keep those pesky scallywags from stealing the heat from your home. I work with a great team
that wants to help you make your house comfy and warm and help you save energy and money at the same time. We have the best tips and tricks to help you save and some of them won’t even cost you a thing!