Turn off the light when leaving a room or when it is not needed. It's a cheap and easy way to save energy and money. If every household in B.C. turned off a 100-watt incandescent light for four hours each day the province would save 227 GWh of energy, which could power Whistler for 12 years (statistic from BC Hydro). Switch incandescent bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs). CFLs use up to 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and lasts up to 10 times longer.
- Draft Proofing
Sealing gaps and cracks with caulking and weather stripping is one of the most cost-effective steps you can take to keep the heat inside your home, reducing heat loss by 5-10%. In many homes, 20% of all heat loss is through leaks and poor ventilation. If 10,000 B.C. households with gas heating were draft proofed to cut gas consumption an average of 5% , it could save 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually (Statistics from BC Hydro).
- Purchasing Appliances
Appliances account for a large percentage of your home energy use. When purchasing or upgrading appliances, choose ones that carry the ENERGY STAR® symbol. Also, look for the EnerGuide rating on a major appliance to help you choose the most efficient model for your needs. The EnerGuide label lets you estimate the annual cost of electricity to operate the appliance.
Adjust and monitor heating and cooling to help cut energy costs by up to 10% or more using properly set points. Lowering the thermostat setting at bedtime and before leaving the house reduces your energy bills without affecting your comfort. Turning the heat down by just 2°C can reduce your home heating costs by 5%.
Home cooling can account for a significant amount of summertime home energy use. Try using alternative cooling techniques such as window coverings, planting shade trees, upgrading insulation and draft proofing your home to reduce temperatures in the home. If air conditioning is needed to cool a room, set the unit at 25°C (77°F) to provide the most comfort for the least cost. You can save between 3% to 5% in home cooling costs for every degree you raise it. Ensure poorly performing air conditioners are serviced right away, since leaking refrigerants not only reduces the unit's efficiency but also emits greenhouse gases. Use a programmable thermostat for central air conditioners to set the timer to have your house cool when you arrive home. They cost between $25 and $100 and can reduce your cooling bills up to 10% a year (Statistic by BC Hydro).
Turn off and unplug electronic devices when not in use. For greater ease, you can set up your components on a power bar and simply switch it off when not in use.
There are many ways you can practice green computing, such as, turning off your computer and peripherals when not in use, buying wisely, taking advantage of power-saving features, using resources efficiently and responsibly recycling your equipment. Power management technologies can deliver energy savings of up to 50% in desktop PCs. A desktop PC turned off for four hours a day, will save about $12 per year. If possible, use a laptop over a PC. A typical laptop computer has a maximum power consumption of 15 watts (W) and extensive power management capabilities. A typical desktop PC with display consumes about 10 times that, or 150 W, and has limited power management features. The potential energy savings from substituting PCs with portable laptops are up to 90% or more (Statistics from BC Hydro). Set up your computer power saving features for periods when your computer is temporarily not in use. To do this, go to Settings/Control Panel/Power Options. It is recommended that you set your power management to turn off your monitor after 10 minutes and your hard disks after 20 minutes.
Water heating accounts for 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines. You can greatly reduce energy consumption of your washing machine by washing in cold water. Switching from hot to cold water and limiting washing to three loads per week, could save as much as $27 per year. If you wash 80%, or four out of five loads, on cold/cold, you could cut two-thirds of a kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions per month (Statistics from BC Hydro).
Hot water can account for a substantial portion of a household's total energy costs (as much as 25%), with showers being the largest single contributor to overall hot water use in a home. A low-flow showerhead can reduce this by half, or even more, without sacrificing the "feel" of the shower. A family of three may take almost 1,000 showers per year. If conventional showerheads were replaced with low-flow options, you could save 26,600 litres of hot water and between $80 and $100 annually on your energy costs, depending on whether you use natural gas or electricity to heat your water (Statistics from BC Hydro).
- Heating Water
Heating water is the second-largest energy user in the average home. You can improve water heater efficiency by insulating pipes, using an insulating blanket, lowering the water heater temperature to 60ºC or installing high-efficiency water heaters. Insulating accessible hot water pipes will also help reduce heat loss and can keep water temperature 1°C to 3°C hotter than non-insulated pipes.
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Kamloops BC V2C 6V3
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