Use the tips and to dos below to help you and your family be Power Smart and conserve energy.
Install a programmable thermostat ...
Install a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat automatically raises and lowers the temperature of your home to preset levels so you don’t have to think about it. These thermostats allow you to turn the temperature down during the day or overnight, but increase the temperature prior to your arrival or when you awake. This allows you to be comfortable in your home while enjoying energy savings. If you lower your temperature by just 1° Celsius for eight hours each day, you can reduce your heating costs by up to 2%.
Programmable thermostats now come in many varieties. Some allow for daily programming, whereas others simply offer a weekday/weekend option. Regardless, all programmable thermostats have manual override controls so you can adjust the temperature whenever you like. When buying a thermostat, determine which programming options you would use and choose the simplest thermostat that will meet your needs. If you have a cooling system, you will benefit year-round by choosing a programmable thermostat that controls both heating and cooling.
Remember that installing a programmable thermostat won’t save any electricity unless it is programmed to turn the temperature down when the temperature would otherwise remain unchanged.
Switch from incandescent to LED lights and save ...
Instead of using incandescent lights, use our G60 LED bulbs as a replacement
Our G60's last up to 50,000 light hours... If you turned this bulb on and never turned it off, it would last over 6 years! They do not heat up like most lights do, so if you make the switch to LED you are reducing the risk of an electrical fire by a lot! Not only will you be safer in your home, your electricity bill will be less because our G60 bulbs are only 7 WATTS! That is a very small fraction of the wattage you would be using with most light bulbs! These bulbs are fully repairable and the samsung microchip in the bulb is replaceable. If you are wondering how bright they are, let's just say that they are currently being used in Northern Airports on the landing strip, the pilots can see the lights from up to 35 km (22 miles) away! That's pretty bright!
Activate your computer’s “sleep” or “power save” mode ...
Activate your computer’s “sleep” or “power save” mode
One of the reasons that computers use so much electricity is that their power management options are often disabled. Much of the energy use associated with computers is wasted because they are often left on when not in use, including nights, weekends, and even extended periods of inactivity during the day. Power management tools help minimize energy loss when computers are left on.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce energy consumption is to turn your equipment off when it is not in use. The notion that computers consume large amounts of energy when starting up is a myth. Similarly, it is false that constant start-ups damage computer components. It is more cost-effective to shut the computer down when you are finished using it, and doing so will reduce wear on your system.
If your computer must be left on when you are not using it, make sure that you enable the "sleep" or "power save" mode. At full power your computer and monitor probably draw about 125 watts of power; in sleep mode, they would use about 10 watts.
Screen savers don’t save electricity
Screen savers are not an energy-efficient feature. Some screen savers actually use additional electricity to create complex graphics. If you use a screen saver, be sure your monitor is set to display images for a predetermined period of time and then enter sleep mode.
Read the manual
Your computer or other home office equipment may already incorporate some power management options. Read the owner's manual for each piece of equipment you use. Information on power management features is often provided in a chapter dedicated solely for this purpose. It is important to understand what features your equipment offers and how they operate. If you don’t have the manual, power management features can often be accessed under “power options” in your computer’s “control panel.”
Plug your electronics and chargers into power bars that can be easily turned off ...
Plug your electronics and chargers into power bars that can be easily turned off
Many electronic devices continue to use power even when you are not operating them. Devices such as printers, scanners, modems, televisions, set-top cable boxes and DVD players often use power in “standby mode.” That means these devices always use electricity to power lights, clocks, and “instant-on” features, even when they are powered off. Electronics that are ENERGY STAR® labelled use as much as 50% less energy to perform these functions, while providing the same performance as less-efficient models.
Power adaptors also draw energy when they are plugged in, even if they are not connected to a device. Have you ever noticed that an adaptor is warm to the touch when it is plugged in, even when it is not charging anything? This is because many adaptors draw at least one watt of electricity all the time.
An easy way to limit standby power loss is to plug all electronics into one or more power bars that can easily be switched off when the electronics are not being used.
Install a low-flow showerhead and save up to 15% of your home’s water use ...
Install a low-flow showerhead and save up to 15% of your home’s water use
The hot water that many of us take for granted can account for a substantial portion of your total energy costs. In many cases, showers can be the largest single contributor to overall hot water use. Even a modest 10-minute shower can use up to 190 litres (42 gallons) of hot water with a conventional showerhead. A low-flow showerhead can reduce this by half or even more, without sacrificing the "feel" of the shower. There are a wide variety of low-flow showerheads available, including hand-held and designer models.
How it works
By restricting the flow and forcing the water through very small openings, these showerheads aerate and increase the velocity of the water, creating a very fine spray pattern which feels like a regular shower. While a conventional showerhead uses 15-19 litres (3-4 gallons) or more per minute, the low-flow type uses approximately 8-9 litres (about 2 gallons) per minute, with some models using even less. Many are equipped with a push-button shutoff valve, which allows the user to interrupt the flow of water while soaping up, saving even more water.
Install faucet aerators too!
Faucet aerators are inexpensive and easy to install, and they provide a similar benefit as low-flow showerheads. Some types of aerator allow you to switch back to regular water flow, which speeds up tasks such as filling a bucket of water.
Draftproof your home ...
Draftproof your home
Plug air leaks with caulking, sealing or weather stripping to save money on your energy bill. Draftproofing is relatively inexpensive, and generally has the fastest payback of all energy saving measures. Be sure that you consider the ventilation requirements of your home if you are sealing leaks (i.e. you don’t want your home to be completely sealed without any air exchange). However, even after extensive draftproofing, older homes would generally allow sufficient air exchange to maintain air quality.
Test for air leaks
It’s easy to test for air leaks on your own. On a windy day, hold a lit candle or incense next to windows, doors, electrical outlets, or light fixtures to test for leaks. If the smoke moves, air is likely passing through a gap.
The most reliable way to test for air leaks is to have a heating professional conduct a blower door test on your home.
Remove or unplug unnecessary fridges and freezers ...
Remove or unplug unnecessary fridges and freezers
An effective way to reduce the energy costs associated with refrigeration is to remove or unplug unnecessary refrigerators and freezers. Consolidate your foods into one appliance and you will see the savings. If you think you may need to use the appliance again, keep it unplugged unless you are using it. You won’t do any harm to the unit by turning it on and off periodically.
Fix any leaks in your pipes and faucets ...
Fix any leaks in your pipes and faucets
A leaky faucet can waste 11,350 litres (2,500 gallons) of water or more every year. If the leak is in a hot water pipe or faucet, the energy savings should easily pay for fixing the leak.
When replacing your clothes washer, choose an ENERGY STAR® model ...
When replacing your clothes washer, choose an ENERGY STAR® model
Major household appliances, such as clothes washers, can account for a significant portion of the energy use in your home. Look for a model that has a cold wash/rinse cycle, multiple water levels and a high spin speed. Most ENERGY STAR labelled clothes washers are front-loading (horizontal axis), because this design is typically more efficient than top loaders. Front loading clothes washers use less water, less detergent and are gentle on clothes.
ENERGY STAR® labelled clothes washers:
Cut overall energy use by up to 50% by having to heat less water
Use 35 to 50% less water than standard models, saving 14,000 to 22,000 litres of water a year
Have higher spin speeds than conventional washers and can extract more water, resulting in less energy needed to dry clothes
Don’t forget to wash in cold water!
Switch from incandescent to LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights ...
Switch from incandescent to LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights
This year use holiday LED light strings to decorate your tree, windows, or entire house. These energy-efficient light strings use light-emitting diode (LED) technology that is superior to standard incandescent light strings.
Compared to holiday incandescent light bulbs, holiday LED strings:
use up to 95% less energy
last at least 10 times longer
are more durable, with no filaments or glass bulbs to break
produce very little heat, reducing the risk of fire
Make sure your heating system is properly maintained ...
Make sure your heating system is properly maintained
Proper maintenance will ensure that your heating system operates at its maximum efficiency. Considering that heating makes up about 50% of your home’s energy bill, maintenance is an easy way to improve the efficiency of your system and save money.
Change the filter
Clean or replace the filter on your furnace once a month or as needed. A clean filter will help your furnace operate efficiently.
Your furnace should be maintained by a heating professional once a year to make sure that it operates at maximum efficiency.
Heating ducts that travel through unheated areas of your home (e.g. attic, crawlspace) should be insulated and kept in good repair to minimize heat loss.
When replacing your fridge, choose an ENERGY STAR® model ...
When replacing your fridge, choose an ENERGY STAR® model
Refrigerators are among the largest energy-consuming appliances in a home. A ten-year-old refrigerator can cost twice as much to operate compared to a new energy-efficient model of the same size. Improvements in the design of compressors and cooling coils, better insulation, tighter door seals, and other design improvements all contribute to the higher efficiencies of newer models. Check the tips section to learn how to use your existing fridge more efficiently.
Consider a smaller model with fewer features
When picking the features for your new refrigerator, consider the energy consequences. For example, a side-by-side refrigerator/freezer uses more energy than models with the freezer on top. Other features like automatic icemakers, through-the-door liquid dispensers and butter warmers increase the energy consumption of your refrigerator. Size is another important factor to consider, because the larger the unit, the more energy it will consume. A refrigerator that is too big for your needs will waste space and energy.
The ENERGY STAR® mark on an appliance indicates the most energy-efficient models
ENERGY STAR labelled fridges:
Are at least 15% more efficient than the minimum federal standard
Use half as much electricity as a standard 10-year-old fridge
Replace incandescent nightlights with LED or electroluminescent models ...
Replace incandescent nightlights with LED or electroluminescent models
Night lights are now available that use light emitting diode (LED) or electroluminescent technology. They use a less than a watt of electricity (compared to 5-10 watts for an incandescent model) and last for at least 10 years. LED night lights are generally brighter than electroluminescent models, which produce a light glow. Both LED and electroluminescent night lights are cool to the touch, so they are safer for young children than incandescent night lights.
When replacing your dishwasher, choose an ENERGY STAR® model ...
When replacing your dishwasher, choose an ENERGY STAR® model
Major household appliances, such as dishwashers, can account for a significant portion of the energy use in your home.
ENERGY STAR® labelled dishwashers:
Are at least 25% more efficient than the minimum federal standard
Can save up to 20% on water heating costs
There are many simple things you can do to use less energy with your current dishwasher. Check the tips section to learn how to be Power Smart when using your dishwasher
Insulate your electric hot water tank and pipes to minimize heat loss ...
Insulate your electric hot water tank and pipes to minimize heat loss
Improving the insulation on your electric hot water tank and pipes is an easy way to save energy.
Insulate your hot water pipes
Insulating your hot water pipes will reduce heat loss, and may even allow you to slightly reduce the temperature setting on your hot water tank.
Put an insulating blanket on your tank
An insulating blanket is affordable and relatively easy to install.
Would my tank benefit from an insulating blanket?
The easiest way to find out if your tank could use extra insulation is to place your hand on the outside of it. If the tank is warm to the touch, it is losing heat (for storage water tanks, this is referred to as standby heat loss). If the tank is cool to the touch, you likely wouldn’t benefit by adding extra insulation to your tank. If you have a newer hot water tank, you probably don’t need to wrap it because they are usually well insulated.
What if I have a gas-fired hot water tank?
Generally speaking, a gas-fired hot water tank should be wrapped by a heating professional. An insulating blanket can be effective on a gas-fired hot water tank, but it must be carefully installed. The top, bottom, and burner compartment of the tank must all be kept clear. If the blanket slips, it could create a health hazard.
When replacing your freezer, choose an ENERGY STAR® model ...
When replacing your freezer, choose an ENERGY STAR® model
Freezers can use more energy than you’d expect. Older models are especially inefficient, but improvements have been made in the design of compressors and cooling coils, insulation and door seals of newer models. You can find recommendations on using your existing freezer more efficiently in tips section.
Consider a smaller-sized chest freezer
When picking your new freezer, consider the energy consequences. Chest freezers are about 25% more efficient than upright freezers. Size is an important factor to consider, because the larger the unit, the more energy it consumes. A freezer that is too big for your needs will waste space and energy.
The ENERGY STAR® mark on an appliance indicates the most energy-efficient models
ENERGY STAR labelled freezers:
Are at least 10% more efficient than the minimum federal standard for standard size freezers (greater than 7.75 cubic feet)
Are at least 20% more efficient for compact freezers (less than 7.75 cubic feet)
Check the seal around your fridge and freezer doors to ensure a tight fit ...
Check the seal around your fridge and freezer doors to ensure a tight fit.
Seals can deteriorate over time, allowing heat to enter the unit and decreasing energy performance.
Check the seal by placing a piece of paper between the seal and the refrigerator (in different places). If the paper doesn’t move easily, it’s a good seal. However, if the paper slides easily you should consider replacing the seal or adjusting the door. A poor seal will cause the refrigerator or freezer to use more energy to keep the contents cold.
When replacing your windows, choose ENERGY STAR® labelled models ...
When replacing your windows, choose ENERGY STAR® labelled models
Heating your home can account for more than half of your home's energy bill. That's a lot of money each year. Windows are areas of heat loss; up to one-third of the heat in your home can escape through windows.
Benefits of ENERGY STAR labelled windows
ENERGY STAR labelled windows are an excellent long-term investment in comfort and value for your family and home because they can:
Increase comfort by keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer
Help protect your valuables from sun damage and fading
Reduce condensation and outside noise
Lower your bill by reducing heating costs
What's more, you can rely on ENERGY STAR labelled windows because they are certified by an independently accredited testing lab for their quality and energy performance.
Consider energy efficiency when landscaping ...
Consider energy efficiency when landscaping
You may not have considered that the way your property is landscaped can affect the comfort and even the energy efficiency of your home. When building a home, the orientation and windows in your home can affect how your home responds to the weather. The vegetation is also important, which can be considered when making landscaping changes in an existing home. Your overall landscaping strategy will be affected by your regional climate, so you may wish to consult a landscaping expert before making significant changes to the existing vegetation.
Plant trees to provide summertime shade
Leafy (deciduous) trees can reduce the amount of direct sunlight that penetrates and heats your home in the summer. These trees lose their leaves in the winter, which will allow the warming benefits of the sun when you need it the most.
Use shrubs around your home for extra “insulation”
Planting shrubs, bushes and vines next to your house creates pockets of air that insulate your home year round. Plant so there will be at least 30 cm (1 foot) of space between the wall of your house and full-grown plants.
Need a windbreak?
If your home is susceptible to cold winds, dense low-lying trees and shrubbery on the north and northeast sides of your home can help protect against wind chill.
When buying a new TV, choose an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® qualified model ...
When buying a new TV, choose an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® qualified model
ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 30% less energy than standard units. You can find the ENERGY STAR on all types of televisions, from standard CRT TVs, to high definition TVs, to the largest flat-screen plasma television.
Consider the size and type of TV
Plasma screen televisions typically use twice as much electricity as similarly sized CRT (standard) televisions. Over the course of a year, a 50-inch plasma screen television uses the same amount of electricity as a refrigerator, making it among the largest energy-using appliances in a home. LCD TVs typically consume the least electricity.
Generally speaking, a smaller television will use less electricity than a larger television, which uses the same technology. If you don’t mind a smaller screen size, you will save money by choosing the smaller TV.
Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer ...
Check the temperature of your fridge
The temperature inside your refrigerator should be 4°C (39°F). This is usually the mid-level setting on the temperature controls on most refrigerators. Use a thermometer to check the temperature and adjust accordingly.
Check the temperature of your freezer
The temperature inside your freezer should be -18°C (0°F). Each additional degree you lower the temperature increases energy use by about 5%.
Clean your lamps and lighting fixtures ...
Clean your lamps and lighting fixtures
Dirt reduces light levels, which can lead to extra lights being turned on or higher wattage bulbs being used in the fixture. Washing your fixtures will help the light shine through. Be sure to drip-dry any plastic parts after washing them. This will reduce static build-up, which can attract dust.
Move floor lamps into the corners of your rooms ...
Move floor lamps into the corners of your rooms
If you have floor lamps located in the middle of a wall, you might get more illumination by moving them into the corners of your rooms. This will allow the lamps to reflect light from two walls, giving you more usable light for your money. This change may provide enough illumination in the room for another light to be removed or turned off.
Improve the efficiency of your swimming pool, spa or hot tub ...
Improve the efficiency of your swimming pool, spa or hot tub
Swimming pools, spas and hot tubs can be big energy users, especially if you keep your water warm in cold weather. If you own a swimming pool, the energy consumption can account for 60% of your summer bills. Aside from devices that monitor your pool’s temperature, components such as pumps and filters also consume energy.
Use a floating swimming pool cover
Evaporation typically causes the largest loss of energy in a swimming pool. A pool cover helps minimize evaporation, which will save you energy. Ensure the pool is covered at night to reduce the operation time of your pool heater. Remove the cover when it is sunny outside to take advantage of solar heating.
Choose a rigid insulation cover for your hot tub
Rigid foam insulating covers are appropriate for hot tubs due to the high water temperature. Insulation of at least RSI 2.1 (R12) is recommended. An electrically heated hot tub will cost about $685 to operate annually if uncovered, compared to $140 for the year with an R12 cover.
Keep it clean
Ensure your filter remains clear of debris so that it can operate efficiently. A fence around your pool will help prevent debris from entering the pool, and will also act as a windbreak to reduce the rate of evaporation.
Choose an energy-efficient pump
Regardless of your pump system, make sure it is energy-efficient. An efficiency level of at least 82 is recommended.
Consider running your pool pump less.
Reducing the operating hours of your pool pump can be a great way to save energy, although you need to ensure that the water is circulated enough to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Running your pool pump for approximately 8-12 hours a day should maintain sufficient filtration.
If you are painting a room, choose light colours ...
If you are painting a room, choose light colours
When redecorating, remember that white walls and ceilings will reflect about 80 percent of the light that strikes them, whereas black surfaces reflect only about 10 percent of the light. In other words, you will need brighter lights in a room with a dark decor than in a room with white surfaces.
Turn your thermostat down at night or when you’re not home ...
Turn your thermostat down at night or when you’re not home
Making up about 50% of your energy bill, heating is the single largest use of energy in most homes. Controlling the thermostat is one of the easiest and most economical ways to control your energy costs. The lower the temperature you set for heating, the more money you will save. Setting the thermostat back from 21° C to 16° C at night can result in energy savings of up to ten per cent.
In addition to turning down the thermostat at night or when you are away from home, below are some suggested thermostat settings that will provide comfort and avoid overheating. If you can adjust to cooler temperatures (perhaps with a blanket or sweater), lower the thermostat even further.
Sitting reading or watching TV
21° C (70° F)
Working around the house
20° C (68° F)
16° C (61° F)
No one is home
16° C (61° F)
Alternately, you could consider installing a programmable thermostat, which remembers to adjust the temperature for you.
Doesn’t it cost more to heat the home up from a colder temperature? Will I really save any energy?
Actually, it’s a common misconception that a furnace works harder than normal to warm your home to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. However, years of research and a number of studies have disproved this myth. The energy needed to reheat a building is approximately equal to the energy that was saved when the building temperature first dropped. You save energy between the time that the temperature stops at the lower level and the next time the heat is turned up. Therefore, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save. Considering that heating makes up a large portion of your energy costs, lowering your thermostat can make for significant savings on your bill.
Save electricity by using your clothes dryer more efficiently ...
Save electricity by using your clothes dryer more efficiently
An electric clothes dryer typically uses the most electricity of any appliance in a home. The way you operate your clothes dryer can affect the amount of energy that it uses.
Clean the lint filter after every load
The lint filter should be cleaned after every load in the dryer. This will improve the efficiency and extend the lifespan of the dryer by ensuring maximum air circulation.
Use the cool-down feature
The cool-down setting allows your clothes to finish drying using the residual heat in the dryer. Note that this setting isn’t helpful if you are drying multiple loads.
Dry multiple loads consecutively
If you are doing more than one load of laundry, dry each new load immediately after the previous load ends (with the cool-down feature turned off). This will reduce the energy required to reheat the dryer.
Avoid over-drying your clothes
Load your dryer with similar clothing types to prevent over drying. Over-drying your clothes wastes unnecessary energy and often damages them. Over-dried clothes may also require more ironing than properly dried clothes.
Use the automatic moisture sensor
If your clothes dryer has an automatic moisture sensor, make sure it is turned on to prevent your clothes from over-drying. Choose a model with a moisture sensor if you are purchasing a new dryer.
Don’t overload the dryer
Overloading the dryer doesn’t give the clothes enough room to tumble, which will increase the time it takes for them to dry.
Throw in a dry towel
When drying heavy loads, adding a dry towel may reduce the time needed to dry the clothes. The towel will absorb excess moisture as the clothes dry. Don’t add wet items to a partially dry load, as the increased moisture will slow the drying process for all the items.
Check your dryer vent periodically
Make sure that your dryer vent is clear of debris, which will save energy and may prevent a fire. Manufacturers typically recommend using rigid venting material instead of plastic vents that may collapse and cause blockages.
Learn more about air drying your clothes in the tips section of the Power Smart Profiler.
Turn off your computer, monitor and peripherals (e.g. printer, scanner) when they are not in use ...
Turn off your computer, monitor and peripherals (e.g. printer, scanner) when they are not in use
Much of the energy use associated with computers is wasted because PCs are often left on when they are not being used.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce energy consumption is to turn your equipment off when it is not in use. The notion that computers consume large amounts of energy when starting up is a myth. Similarly, it is false that constant start-ups damage computer components. It is more cost-effective to shut the computer down when you are finished using it, and doing so also reduces wear on your system. Learn more about your computer’s energy settings in the to dos section.
Turn off your energy guzzling monitor
Monitors use up to 75% of the energy powering your computer. If you must leave your computer on while it is not being used, it makes sense to turn off any monitors or display devices. Remember that a screen saver does not reduce energy consumption.
Turn off your peripherals
Turn off your peripherals, such as printers or scanners, when they are not in use. Such devices are typically left on for extended periods of time but are active for only a small percentage of it. For this reason, conventional printers often waste a significant amount of energy. Newer devices use less energy when in standby mode, but you should always turn your equipment off to save electricity.
Use daylight to illuminate your house ...
Use daylight to illuminate your house
Natural daylight from windows and skylights provide a free light source, which may allow you to reduce the number of lights you turn on inside your home. Unshaded windows can affect the temperature inside your home, providing an opportunity for even greater energy savings.
Open the blinds on south- and north- facing windows
South-facing windows are most advantageous for day-lighting and for moderating seasonal temperatures because they allow the most winter sunlight into the home but little direct sun during the summer, especially when properly shaded. North-facing windows are also effective for day-lighting because they admit relatively even light, produce little glare and allow little unwanted summer heat gain. Although east and west facing windows provide good daylight penetration in the morning and evening, respectively, they are less effective. East and west facing windows may cause glare, admit a lot of heat during the summer when it is usually not wanted, and they contribute little to solar heating during the winter.
Don’t forget to consider how using daylight might affect your home’s heating
Save electricity by using your clothes washer more efficiently ...
Save electricity by using your clothes washer more efficiently
The way you use your clothes washer can affect the amount of energy that it uses.
Wash full loads
The clothes washer will use less energy to wash one full load than multiple smaller loads. Load clothes until the machine is full, according to manufacturer's directions. If you must wash clothes with a less than full load, adjust the water setting accordingly.
Use energy-saving or economy wash cycles
Most clothes washers have various wash cycles you can select. The energy-saving feature helps you use less water and save energy.
Separate heavily soiled clothes from lightly soiled ones
By separating the heavily soiled clothes, you can adjust the wash cycle to match the cleaning needs of the load. This will ensure that the clothes are washed properly using the minimum energy required.
When buying a new clothes washer, choose an ENERGY STAR ® labelled model.
Use ceiling fans to save energy year round ...
Use ceiling fans to keep yourself cool
Unlike air conditioning, ceiling fans don’t cool the room. Instead, they move air downward which creates a cooling effect upon people in the room. The movement of air increases the rate at which moisture evaporates from the skin, which makes people feel cooler. Fans achieve this cooling effect while using significantly less energy than air conditioning.
Use ceiling fans to keep yourself warm
In cold weather, use ceiling fans to increase your comfort. Set the fan to drive air upward to break up the heat that rises and collects against the ceiling. By creating a more consistent temperature in the room, the thermostat may not need to be set as high.
Due to rising energy costs and increasing customer conservation awareness, ceiling fan use is now on the upswing. Ceiling fans are available in a wide variety of styles, and can also enhance room decor.
Hit the showers – a short shower uses about half as much water as a bath ...
Hit the showers – a short shower uses about half as much water as a bath
Taking a shower instead of a bath uses less water and less energy, which costs you less. Plus, if you install a low-flow showerhead you can save even more.
Save electricity by using your fridge more efficiently ...
Save electricity by using your fridge more efficiently
Refrigerators are among the largest energy-consuming appliances in the home. Using them efficiently will help you save money.
Close the door
Possibly the easiest thing you can do to save energy with your fridge is to make sure that the door is not left open. By opening the door infrequently and for short periods of time, you will reduce the energy the fridge uses to keep food cold.
Don’t overfill your fridge
Be careful about overfilling your refrigerator, as this may prevent air from circulating properly. Improper air circulation may cause your fridge to run inefficiently, which can use more electricity.
Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator
If you thaw frozen items in the fridge instead of on your counter, you are easing the workload on the fridge’s cooling system.
Stay out of the sun
Refrigerators work hard to keep items cold. It makes sense not to put them near sources of heat (such as the sun) which will cause them to work harder, because this costs you more money.
Also, you can learn about adjusting the temperature, checking the seals, removing unnecessary fridges and choosing ENERGY STAR ® models in the to dos section of the Power Smart Profiler
Unplug your charger when the device is not connected ...
Unplug your charger when the device is not connected
This rule applies to power adapters for any devices that have chargers (laptops, digital cameras, MP3 players). When a power adapter is plugged in, it continues to draw energy even if it is not connected to a device. Have you ever noticed that an adapter is warm to the touch when it is plugged in, even when it is not charging anything? This is because many adapters draw at least one watt of electricity all the time.
An easy way to limit standby power loss is to plug all electronics into one or more power bars that can easily be switched off when the electronics are not being used.
Turn the lights out when you don't need them ...
Turn the lights out when you don't need them
We've all heard this one before, but remembering to turn out the lights can have a powerful effect on your electricity consumption. Lighting in your home accounts for 5% to 10% of your total energy use. By making it a habit to turn off the lights when you leave a room, you can contribute to conservation while lowering the total cost of your electricity bill.
Automatic lighting controls
One of the simplest ways to ensure your lights are out when you don't need them is to install automatic lighting controls in your home, such as timers or motion sensors (more information is available in the to dos section). Two way switches (if the room has more than one point of entry) can also help make it easier for people to turn out the lights.
If you’re cold, put on a sweater or use a blanket ...
If you’re cold, put on a sweater or use a blanket
Instead of turning up the thermostat, you might be more comfortable by putting on extra clothes when you are cold. This will help you save in the largest energy consuming area of your home.
Save electricity by using your dishwasher more efficiently ...
Save electricity by using your dishwasher more efficiently
The way you use your dishwasher can affect the amount of energy it uses.
Use energy-saving wash cycles
Most dishwashers have various wash cycles you can select. The energy-saving feature helps you use less water and save energy.
Use the "no-heat" dry feature
Most dishwashers have a built-in electric heating element that bakes dishes dry. The "no-heat" dry feature circulates room air through the dishwasher. If your dishwasher does not have this feature, turn the dishwasher off after the final rinse and open the door to air dry.
Wash only full loads
The dishwasher will use the same amount of water if it is half empty or completely full.
Load dishes until the machine is full, according to manufacturer's directions. This will allow for optimum performance.
Some people rinse their dishes in the sink before putting them in the dishwasher. Don’t bother! It will save more water and energy if you simply scrape excess food off plates and cutlery. Your dishwasher is designed to take care of the rest.
Clean the filter
Regularly clean the filter at the bottom of your dishwasher to keep it running efficiently.
If you are buying a new dishwasher, choose an ENERGY STAR® labelled model.
Use your windows to take advantage of solar heat ...
Use your windows to take advantage of solar heat
Use the windows in your home to your advantage. In the winter, solar heat gain can help ease the demand on your heating system. Open your curtains or blinds during the day and let the sun heat up your home, free of charge. Allowing solar and radiant heat gain into your home in the winter months can help you save on your overall heating costs.
In the summer, solar and radiant heat can penetrate un-shaded windows and increase the temperature in your home significantly, affecting your comfort and possibly resulting in higher costs for cooling. It is a good idea to keep east- and west-facing windows shaded during the summer months. North and south facing windows typically allow daylight to illuminate your home without allowing direct sunlight to heat it up. Awnings or a modest eave overhang can be used to shade windows in the summer to minimize unwanted heat gains even further.
Using windows effectively can also reduce your lighting costs (check the tips section for more details).
Watch less TV ...
Watch less TV
Watching less TV (or using other electronics less) will save you energy and money. The less you watch, the more you save!
At the very least, make sure you turn off your electronics when you’re not using them.
Use your freezer more efficiently to save energy ...
Use your freezer more efficiently to save energy
Freezers can use a significant amount of energy. Using them wisely will help you save money.
Close the door
One of the easiest things you can do to save energy with your freezer is to keep the door closed as much as possible. By opening the door infrequently and for short periods of time, you will reduce the energy the freezer uses to keep food cold.
Keep it full
Full freezers operate more efficiently than empty ones. Also, they are affected less when the door is opened because there is less uncontained air to escape. If your freezer isn’t full, fill plastic containers with water and put them inside. The frozen water will also help keep food frozen in the event of a power outage. Empty cardboard boxes can also be put at the bottom of a chest freezer to help fill empty space.
Stay out of the sun
Freezers work hard to keep items cold, so you shouldn’t keep them near sources of heat (such as the sun). Outside heat sources cause freezers to work harder, which costs you more money. Learn about adjusting the temperature, checking the seals, removing unnecessary freezers and choosing ENERGY STAR® models in the to dos section of the Power Smart Profiler.
Wash your clothes in cold water ...
Wash your clothes in cold water
The single most important thing you can do to reduce the energy consumption of your clothes washer is wash in cold water. Water heating accounts for 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines and washing machines are capable of cleaning with great results in cooler water temperatures.
When buying a new clothes washer, choose an ENERGY STAR ® labelled model.
Use task lighting when appropriate ...
Use task lighting when appropriate
You can lower your overall energy consumption by concentrating light where you need it rather than illuminating an entire room. Task lighting is generally useful where work is being carried out in a small area, such as at a desk or in a workshop.
Air-dry your clothes to save electricity ...
Air-dry your clothes to save electricity
An electric clothes dryer typically uses the most electricity of any appliance in a home. Reduce the energy your dryer consumes by air drying your clothes whenever possible. An outdoor clothes line uses heat from the sun and the flow of air to dry your clothes. An indoor clothes rack may take longer to dry, but it is an energy efficient alternative to the clothes dryer. Be careful to avoid humidity problems if you dry your clothes indoors during the winter months.
Use your hot water wisely ...
Use your hot water wisely
Here are some simple tips to consider when using your hot water
Put the plug in the sink instead of leaving the hot water running.
Try not to use small amounts of hot water frequently. Not only does the water need to be heated, but more hot water is left in the pipe to cool down (which wastes energy).
If you take a bath when it’s cold outside, leave the water in the tub until it has released its heat in the house.
Turn the hot water system off when you go on extended holiday.
A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than a desktop ...
A laptop computer uses up to 90% less energy than a desktop
A typical laptop computer has a maximum power consumption of 15 watts and extensive power management capabilities. A typical desktop PC, with display, consumes about 10 times that, or 150 watts, and has less-effective power management features. The potential energy savings from substituting PCs with portable laptops are significant, particularly if you don’t plug the laptop into a separate display monitor. If you have the choice between using a laptop or desktop computer, use the laptop to save energy.
Put rugs on cold floors ...
Put rugs on cold floors
If your feet are cold, your body will likely feel cold and you may turn up the heat. By placing area rugs on cold floors, you may be less likely to crank the thermostat.
Close the damper when the fireplace is not in use ...
Close the damper when the fireplace is not in use
A chimney is designed to let smoke escape without staying inside your living space. Given that, it shouldn’t surprise you to hear that an open damper will carry the warm air right out of your home. Make sure it is completely closed when it’s not in use. If you have a chimney in your home that is not being used, consider sealing it completely. A makeshift foam plug will help reduce heat loss and can be removed if the fireplace will be used again (you may want to hang a flag down from the plug to remind you that it’s in place).
Avoid controlling too many lights with a single switch ...
Avoid controlling too many lights with a single switch
If a number of lights are turned on with a single switch, lights may be using electricity in areas that are not being used. When planning room lighting, limit the number of lighting devices that are controlled by a single switch. Instead, choose light switches that allow for the independent control of different light fixtures.
Adjust your cooking habits to save electricity ....
Adjust your cooking habits to save electricity
There are a number of things you can do to save electricity in the kitchen.
Cook using the smallest appliance that can do the job
Why use a full-size oven when a microwave or toaster oven will do? Smaller appliances can get the job done while using less energy, especially when cooking smaller meals. On a related topic, steamers and pot dividers allow you to cook multiple vegetables at once to reduce the number of cooking devices needed.
Use the right pot
Choose a pot that covers the burner completely. If the burner is larger than the base of the pot, unnecessary energy will be wasted. Using a lid over the pot will decrease cooking times and save energy.
Try not to open the oven door unless it is absolutely necessary, because heat will rapidly escape out the door. The window on the door and the light inside your oven are there to help you check on your food without opening the door. If you are using an electric oven, keep preheating time to a minimum. Preheating is typically only necessary when baking. When cooking, the time spent preheating could be spent cooking your food. Also, you can often turn off the oven before the cooking time is complete, because the residual heat will finish cooking the dish. You can usually turn the heat off about 5 minutes before the cooking time is up.
Plan your cooking to heat multiple dishes in the oven, while the oven is still hot. If you are really keen, you can cook more than one meal and freeze the extra servings. This saves energy and cooking time. Try to cook foods that require the highest temperature first, because this will save the energy needed to warm up the oven again.
If you are going to use the self-cleaning feature on your oven, activate it immediately after cooking. This way the over will still be hot and the cleaning feature will use less energy.
Set Your Personal Energy Reduction Goal
Shower for 1 minute less if you have an electric water heater
Switch your 5 most used lights to LED's
Hang your clothes to dry
Turn down your thermostat by 1 degree if you have electric heating
Switch your computer & monitor off when not in use
Unplug or get rid of your second fridge
Use a combination of the tips above to achieve this level of reduction
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