Energy is a major expense for every household. But there are small, everyday behaviours that you can change that save you money, showing that you don’t have to spend a lot of money and make substantial effort to reduce your energy bill. Some things don’t cost anything to do, and really add up.
Here are five changes that will save energy, and reduce your energy bill:
1. Lights and Lighting
Energy efficient bulbs are more expensive up front, but their longer life and more efficient energy use save money in the long run. Traditional incandescent light bulbs consume more energy and have to be replaced more often.
Halogen incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) use anywhere from 25-80% less electricity and last three to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs.
Turn off lights in rooms that are empty, or any unnecessary lights.
Use natural light from windows. Just one south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area, so no lightbulbs are needed in daylight hours.
Use lights where they are needed. Instead of using ceiling lights that light the whole room, use table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights.
2. Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to program your home’s cooling and heating system, and you can reduce heating and cooling for times when you are asleep or away.
Smart thermostats are not only programmable, but they are designed to learn your behaviours and will automatically adjust temperatures based on your habits.
Having a programmable or smart thermostat means that you can reduce energy waste without having to upgrade your HVAC system.
3. Cut Down on Water Usage
Hot water costs money! Take shorter showers and fix any leaky faucets.
Turn off the water when doing things like brushing your teeth and shaving.
4. Be Efficient with Your Electronics
Turn off your in-window air conditioner when you aren’t at home.
Unplug any unused electronics. Standby power can be responsible for up to 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use.
5. Be Efficient with Your Appliances
When you have to purchase an appliance, invest in energy efficient appliances. Appliances are responsible for about 13% of total energy use in the average household.
Look at the initial purchase price and the annual operating cost to determine the value of your purchase. Also, look for the Energy Star service mark. It is awarded to certified energy-efficient products.
Your fridge and freezer should be kept at their ideal temperature of between 2°C and 3°C and your freezer should be kept at -18°C.
Don’t use the heat-dry setting on your dishwasher.
When possible, use your microwave, crock pot or toaster oven instead of having to heat up the whole oven.
When using your washer and dryer, run full loads, and wash those loads in cold water.
Adding a dry towel to your dryer load reduces drying time. If possible, hang your laundry to dry.
These small, easy steps will save energy and money for you!