Are you a pop person? Well you probably shouldn’t be anymore — not when the 84 people of Jean Marie River in the Northwest Territories realized a single pop machine was costing around $9,000 to keep running.
Six buildings around Jean Marie River were audited for their energy use and, surprise surprise, a pop machine was the biggest money-waster. It cost just over $1 to keep the machine running. $1 a day? Heck no. According to CBC News, this machine cost over $1 every hour to keep that pop cold. That’s around $747 a month and about $9,000 a year.
But wait, there’s more: they had two of these hellish, money-sucking machines constantly running. And as much as we love pop, we don’t love it enough to spend that much money on it. But what makes pop machines so expensive to maintain in Jean Marie River compared to, well, anywhere else?
You have to realize that it’s not just about the pop machines. Everything that uses energy in Jean Marie River’s insanely expensive because the power that the community uses is diesel power (all you have to know about diesel power is that it costs a fortune to use). When small communities in the North West Territories use this type of power, which is all that’s really available to them, anything and everything that uses electricity causes those bills to shoot through the roof. One of the six government buildings audited cost a whopping $2.58 per hour to keep power running.
“Toasters, block heaters that are being plugged in all through the night instead of having a block heater timer on your vehicle — very big. Coffee makers, water coolers that have a heater function” are just a few of the high-cost culprits said Teresa Chilkowich, an energy coordinator from the Arctic Energy Alliance.
Chilkowich goes on to explain how fridges made in 1984 cost a hefty $291 per year (you can close your mouth now). She recommends cutting that cost down by investing in a 2004 model fridge, which cost about $84 for electricity a year.
The highest energy cost in Jean Marie River is about $18,000 a month, which comes from keeping its water treatment plant powered. Following the energy audit, Chilkowich believes that equipment like electric heaters and incandescent light bulbs are responsible for the high cost.
The people of Jean Marie River are making a huge effort to cut down on energy costs: from using energy meters that measure costs to winterizing their homes. Soon, the pop machines won’t be the only money-wasters booted out of the town.