BC Hydro has just released a study that shows the how addicted we are to our smartphones.

According to the report, over a quarter of British Columbians aged 25 to 54 would give up seeing their partner for a day rather than give up their smartphones for 24 hours. And one-thirds of people those aged between 55 and 64 would do the same.

The study found that over 75% of people living in BC own a smartphone and on average spend 4.7 hours a day on their handheld device.

(BC Hydro graph)

“Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic shift in how people use power in their homes. The popularity of small personal electronics – like smartphones, laptops and tablets – is driving this trend,” said Chris O’Riley, BC Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

“While none of these devices use a lot a power individually, taken together, household electricity use from these devices has increased from 7 percent to 17 per cent since the early 1990s.”

According to BC Hydro, the change has resulted in a 150%increase in electricity use from small electronics since 1990.

Here are a few tips from the company to help people save power, electricity, and money:

  • Taking advantage of rebates: between October 1 and November 11 BC Hydro is offering rebates on energy-efficient lighting, appliances and smart products through its retail partners. More information can be found at powersmart.ca.
  • Turning on a device’s power management settings: these settings are built into most new personal devices and can significantly improve battery life, limiting the amount of charging required.
  • Using a smart strip for older electronics: older devices still draw electricity when left plugged in, even when they are turned off. The best way to combat this – particularly for older home theatre equipment – is to use a ‘smart strip’ or advanced power bar