Want to take action to conserve energy? Here are our top three ways to conserve energy in your home.

energy-action-1Why?

Installing solar panels is a high impact way to reduce your energy footprint. Generating energy from renewable sources reduces demand on the energy grid and greenhouse gas emissions.

How?

Working with a qualified solar installer is the easiest way to get started with solar. Click here for full details on how to get started and on available incentive programs.

energy-action-2Why?

LED light bulbs use 25-80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last 3-25 times longer.

How?

LED light bulbs are available at most stores. The Alberta government currently has an incentive program that will replace your existing light bulbs for free.

energy-action-3Why?

Vehicles are high consumers of energy and produce emissions that contribute to greenhouse gas and air pollution.

How?

Start small. Choose a short route and plan to bike 1-2 times per week to start. Contact an organization like Bikebridge to for tips to get started.

 

Looking for even more ways to take action? Check out these other suggestions:

Start recording your gas and electric meter readings or tracking usage from your utility bills.

Keep a scoreboard on the fridge for every time someone turns off a light or TV that was left on with no one there. Great for kids!

Place “Turn me off” reminders beside the “big-ticket” items to help remember when you leave the room for more than a few minutes.

Unplug “big-ticket” and infrequently used appliances when not in use.

Use a power bar with a switch to turn off multiple devices at the touch of one button. (Leave out devices which need to be on all the time like routers, sensors, etc.)

Set your thermostat to 21°C – With a sweater and slippers on, you can go down to 19°C.

When you are away or asleep, set it to 15°C. (It helps you nod off and promotes deeper sleep.)

Set your domestic hot water tank thermostat at 55°C or 130°F. Any higher is a waste of energy and can scald; any lower may risk the formation of legionella (a bacteria). On a gas water heater, “hot” is often equivalent to 140°F. Readjust for comfort.

Upgrade to a more intelligent digital thermostat. It will cost between $25 and $100 depending on its features.

Heat the rooms you use most, rather than the whole house.

Turn the heating down when on holiday.

Keep curtains and furniture away from furnace vents, radiators and electric baseboards to let heat circulate.

Close doors to rooms that are not in use.

Turn it off – don’t cool your home when you aren’t there (or set it to 29°).

Use ceiling fans instead of, or along with your A/C.

Plant deciduous trees on the East and West sides of your home for shade.

Draw your curtains at dusk for extra draft exclusion, and keep them behind radiators and vents (otherwise you’re just heating the window).

Drive more efficiently: avoid excessive braking/accelerating and keep a steady pace (as per the speed limit).

Avoid idling whenever possible.

Travel light: every extra 100 pounds reduces fuel efficiency by up to 2%.

Avoid unnecessary short trips where you could walk or bike instead.

Get regular tune ups: tire pressure, motor oil, air filter and other general vehicle maintenance.

For your next car, buy a fuel efficient or hybrid vehicle.

If you don’t have a bike, buy one.

Keep your bike maintained and ready for action (including appropriate safety gear).

Buy panniers or a basket for your bike so you can transport shopping and other items

Experiment by trying a few short trips by walking, bicycle or bus rather than by car.

Use multi-modal transportation. Bike to the bus stop and take the bus to work. Most buses have carriers for bicycles.

Try to bike or walk at least once per week.

Find your local bus schedule and figure out the fastest route to your regular destinations.

Start by challenging yourself to take the bus to work a couple of times a week.