Saving Energy At Home - Quick and Easy Ways to Save Now

Interested in some quick and easy no-cost or low-cost measures to try now?
Using combinations of the following measures can save you 10% to 50% on your energy bills.
Also, BC Hydro may provide technical guidance or other incentives for many energy efficiency measures.

Here's a menu of can't-go-wrong items to get you started:

1. Adjust thermostats. Turn down the building's heating thermostat and turn up its cooling thermostat, especially when the building is not occupied. No Cost

2. Reduce the hot water temperature. Reducing the temperature on your water heater thermostat can decrease heat loss from your tank. For washing hands, you may be able to turn the temperature to 120°F (48°C). Dishwashing may require higher temperature settings such as 140°F (60°C). No Cost

3. Install water flow restrictors and aerators in sink faucets. These measures can save you money by reducing water use (including hot water). Low Cost

4. Reduce lighting. Remove lamps where you have more lighting than you really need, but be sure to maintain safe lighting conditions for work areas. Turn lights off when they're not in use. No Cost

5. Seal heating and cooling ductwork. Leakage from areas such as joints, elbows and connections can be substantial -- as much as 20% to 30%. This is especially costly if the ducts travel through unheated or uncooled spaces such as attics, basements, or crawlspaces. Use duct tape or caulking to seal ducting. Low Cost

6. Wrap the hot water tank with jacket insulation. This simple, inexpensive measure will reduce standby heat loss from the tank. Be sure to leave the air intake vent uncovered when insulating a gas water heater. Low Cost

7. Replace air filters regularly and follow maintenance schedules for furnace and air-conditioning equipment. Replacing a dirty air filter can save money by reducing the amount of electricity needed to run a blower motor (because there is less resistance to airflow with a clean filter). Low Cost

8. Install programmable thermostats. These inexpensive devices, most of which incorporate modern microprocessor-based electronics, can help optimize your building's heating and cooling needs. And you won't need to remember to change thermostat settings every time you leave the building or return home. Low Cost

9. Install automatic room-lighting controls. Similar to programmable thermostats, these devices help optimize lighting use by automatically turning lights on or off, depending on occupancy or time of day. Sensors and timers work well and are usually installed by a specialist. Low Cost

10. Clean heat exchangers and perform routine maintenance on refrigerating equipment. These simple measures will ensure the most efficient operation of heat exchangers needed for cooling or refrigerating equipment. No Cost

11. Seal off unused areas and don't heat or cool them. Storage areas are a good place to start. No Cost

12. Buy energy-efficient equipment. When buying appliances, compare energy requirements of various models. Low Cost

13. Seal exterior cracks and holes, and ensure tight-fitting windows. Seemingly small cracks or holes in the building exterior (like walls, windows, doors, ceiling, and floors) can really add up to substantial heating or cooling losses. Install weather stripping and caulking to stop these air leaks. Low Cost

14. Repaint building exterior with light colours. When it's time to repaint the exterior of your home, consider using light colors. More sunlight will be reflected away from the building, thus helping to keep it cool in summer. This is also true for your roof. Low Cost

15. Keep exterior doors closed as much as possible. Don't heat or cool the outdoors! No Cost

16. Block and insulate unneeded windows and other openings. Aside from the important security benefit, covering unneeded windows and doors can greatly reduce energy losses from these openings. Low Cost

17. Buy energy-efficient vehicles. When buying or replacing your vehicles, compare energy requirements of various models. No Cost or Low Cost

18. Encourage the family to be energy conscious. The importance of getting family co-operation shouldn't be underestimated; their practices and activities can make or break efforts such as these. No Cost