Energy saving starts at home
By Fiona Wirz-Endrys, Communications Assistant
Climate change can be an overwhelming topic to discuss, and can be an even harder topic to find how you can make a difference. One great place to start with is your home because as shared in ClimateActionWR’s progress report, 18% of our local green house gases are being emitted from our homes.
Here are some steps you can take that will not only decrease your carbon footprint, but can cut a significant amount off from your monthly energy bill.
- Get a coupon – Something you may not know is that your electricity providers are encouraging you to get these. You can call, or look online for coupons with good deals on anything ranging from new LED lights to programmable thermostats. When you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about where to start with energy saving, this is a great first step!
- Neighbourhood talk – We all have those neighbours who love to chat as soon as you open the door to take out the trash. Why not take the opportunity to ask them about their input on the topic of affordable, energy-saving appliances. Who knows what new trend you could find out about, and how much your neighbour could save you on your next energy bill. Or share with your neighbours what you are doing and why!
- Not too hot, not too cold – “Turn off the air conditioning, we’re all cold in here!” How often have you thought this in a shopping mall, coffee shop, or even in someone else’s home on a summer afternoon? Don’t be that person who overdoes their AC just because they want to fight the heat wave outside with everything they’ve got. Try keeping the cooling limit of your home at 24o C in the summer, and your heating no higher than 21o C in the winter. Not only will this prevent your body from getting bigger shocks when you enter/ exit your home, causing higher risks of catching a cold—it will also decrease your carbon footprint, and your monthly expenses.
- Get a home energy evaluation – This may seem like a lot of work, but in reality you just have to make a call and a Registered Energy Advisor will be sent to your home and perform an Energuide Home Energy Evaluation. There is a small cost, but you can get a full rebate if you complete renovation work in two of the eligible categories from the Home Reno Rebate Program. Not to mention ongoing savings in energy costs.
- Find savings – Let’s talk about utilities. Did you know that if you still have an old deep freezer, it may be costing you more than it would to buy a new one? Programs such as Energy Star will be able to give more information on appliances that could increase the efficiency of your home. Try calling, or getting an evaluation done. You may be pleasantly surprised how much it could benefit your home.
- Insulate – How much are your current energy efforts worth, if your walls are leaking a large portion of the heat or cold? The majority of homes lose most efficiency through poor foundation and wall insulation. Is your home one of them? If so, there are many options around—whether you want a conventional insulation option, something innovative such as straw insulation—the choices are endless! Insulation is one of the best ways to lower your home’s carbon footprint and so there are many rebates for it as part of the Home Reno Rebate program.
- Downsizing – Finally, we come to the latest trend: downsizing. The housing market is booming for smaller homes lately, so if you have been considering getting yourself a new, smaller home, you i= will fit right in. While some people are investing in smaller homes because of the growing demand, and others do it for convenience, you will also find that it will shrink a large portion of your carbon footprint.
See our grants, credits and rebates page for a complete list of incentives to help you reduce your energy usage.