The average Canadian household spends over $2,100 per year on home energy including heating/cooling, lighting and running appliances. Reducing our residential energy use saves money and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through the CleanBC Better Homes Program, to find more details on the program see: Clean BC Better Homes Income Qualified Program and Municipal Top-Ups for Energy Rebates.
Even small changes such as switching to Energy Star appliances, adding insulation and turning off unneeded appliances can take a chunk out of your home energy bills. Check out the following useful tips and rebate programs to help you make energy conservation a part of your home and/or business.
EASY WAYS TO GO GREEN AT HOME
In the Kitchen:
- The refrigerator is the household appliance that uses the most amount of energy. Set your refrigerator between 2°C and 3°C - optimal energy use temperatures.
- Dishwashers use the same amount of water whether full or not, so turn on only when there's a full load. Look for a water-saving, energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwasher.
- 90% of the energy used in washing laundry goes toward heating the water. Cold-Cold is the most energy efficient cycle to wash and rinse your clothes, and your clothes still get clean. If everyone in Canada washed their clothes in cold for a year, we'd reduce about 1.5 billion kg of greenhouse gas emissions.
- The dryer is the household appliance that uses the second most amount of energy after the fridge. Air-dry as often as possible.
Around the house:
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- In the summer, set your thermostat to 24 or 25°C. Skip the AC and install some ceiling fans.
- In the winter, set your thermostat to 19 or 20°C.
- Plug holes and caulk windows to reduce heat loss.
Beware of phantoms:
"Phantom load carriers" are electronic devices that draw power 24 hours a day. Surprisingly, 75% of the electricity that powers home electronics is consumed when the products are turned off. Unplug your computer, printer, DVD player, TV, coffee maker, and cell phone charger when you aren't using them. Or use a power bar and then just switch the bar off.
Detect Thermal Leaks with the Library:
Thermal Leak Detector kits are the newest tools in Fraser Valley Regional Library’s (FVRL) Playground lending collection. The kit enables the user to easily and quickly test for leaky seals throughout their home. The kits, partially funded with the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, are free to borrow with an FVRL card. With a thermal leak detector, customers can discover areas in their homes that may need better insulation. This knowledge can help reduce household carbon emissions and improve monthly energy spending.
Learn more about thermal leak detectors, a new addition to the FVRL Playground: fvrl.ca/thermalleakdetectors
The Province of British Columbia has introduced a new rebate program to make energy retrofits more affordable, the CleanBC Better Homes Income Qualified Program. Check out the details here.
Starting April 1, 2023, homeowners within Chilliwack will be eligible for CleanBC Better Homes top-up rebates which are distributed by the provincial government on a first-come first-served basis.