takeCHARGE Energy Conservation Specialist, Newfoundland Power
St. John’s, NL
Taking charge of saving energy
Kaitie Collins is a takeCHARGE Energy Conservation Specialist with Newfoundland Power. takeCHARGE is a joint partnership between the province’s two utilities, Newfoundland Power and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Through programs and education, Kaitie helps customers manage their electricity use. She is a full-on efficiency enthusiast, bringing unbridled passion to the gig.
“A big part of my role is to educate and bring energy efficiency awareness, information and products to customers across the province,” she says. “The programs that we offer can really make an impactful difference in the efficiency in a customer’s home. For example, we have an insulation rebate program that encourages customers to upgrade their basement and attic insulation, and homeowners can get back up to $2000, which is really amazing!”
Collins and her colleagues deliver presentations to stakeholders and schools, and run events with retailers and partnerships with non-profit organizations. And they’re clearly doing something right. Since takeCHARGE began in 2009, the initiative has helped more than 60,000 residential customers and more than 2,500 businesses save more than $118 million on their electricity bills. That equals 985 gigawatt hours and is enough energy to power over 42,000 electrically-heated homes in Newfoundland and Labrador for an entire year.
A big part of Collins’ work is ensuring that takeCHARGE rebates and information are available to everyone. For example, the initiative is currently partnering with Inclusion Newfoundland and Labrador to overcome literacy and language barriers. “We’re really expanding our outreach to ensure that takeCHARGE initiatives are inclusive and available to all customers in the province. We are developing materials that are accessible to everyone,” Collins says.
Collins earned her Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2013. She initially started in Customer Service at Newfoundland Power, and then—following a few professional “jigs and reels,” she says—joined the takeCHARGE team. She’s been there ever since. “I just feel like I belong here. This is definitely the role for me.”
Collins says that more young people should consider the energy efficiency sector as a career path. “Of course, you do have the traditional energy jobs, but I didn’t see myself in that sector,” she says. “There’s a lot more opportunity in this sector, and I hope that opportunities for work in [energy efficiency] continue to get exposure and awareness. It’s just a really great place to be.”
And if one were to join in the fun, where might one begin? “There are many different paths that you can take, there is a role for everyone, from construction, to engineering, to business, like myself, marketing, graphic design, and so many more,” she says. “Any type of training and education can pave the way for jobs in this sector. That’s what’s so amazing about it.”
“It’s always changing and evolving, and it’s super exciting,” she says of her position.
“And my current role is very rewarding and fulfilling, knowing that I’m helping customers save energy and money. I really love educating people on the importance of energy conservation, and I’m proud to be an important part of making people’s homes more energy efficient.”
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