Share |

We use electricity every hour of every day in our lives. Whether it is for an alarm clock or an oven, we all use electricity. Most people think this is a clean source of energy, but in most cases, it is a large source of pollution. For example, the single largest source of Carbon Dioxide pollution in Ontario is the coal-fired Nanticoke electricity generator plant. For this reason, our number one recommendation for reducing your Carbon Footprint from Electricity is to switch to 100% renewable energy. The easiest way to do this is to purchase your electricity from a green source. These energy saving tips will also help you reduce your energy usage. With some research, investment, and a lot of dedication, it is also possible to produce your own electricity using wind and solar sources... a huge step in going green. To understand more about why this is the third highest prioirty, see our Energy Usage page.

Impact

Solution

Lifestyle Change

Health

Financial

Large

Switch to 100% Renewable Energy

One-Time

-

$

Large

Reduce Your Fridge Energy Consumption

One-Time

-

$

Large

Dry Clothes Naturally

Habit

-

$

Large

Reduce Summer Cooling

One-Time

-

$

Medium

Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

One-Time

-

$

Medium

Eliminate the Power Drain

Habit

-

$

Medium

Turn Off Computer When Not in Use

Habit

-

$

Medium

Add Shade to Reduce Air Conditioning

One-Time

-

-

Medium

Turn off the Heat in Summer

Habit

-

$

Small

Use Fans Instead of Air Conditioning

Habit

-

$

Small

Use LED Lighting

One-Time

-

$

Small

Use Less Lighting

Habit

-

$

Small

Dishwasher Energy Efficiency

Habit

-

$

Small

Efficient Cooking

Habit

-

$

Small

Energy Saving Pool

One-Time

-

$

Switch to 100% Renewable Energy

Using only electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or low-impact hydro will significantly reduce your Carbon Footprint. Switching to an electricity supplier such as Bullfrog Power will cost approximately $1 per day more, but by introducing electricity conservation measures at work or at home, you can reduce the amount of the cost difference.

Reduce Your Fridge Energy Consumption

The Fridge is one of the highest energy consuming appliances in a home, so reducing how much electricity it uses can have a large impact. First consider unplugging any extra fridges such as the one in the garage or basement. If you have to replace your fridge, purchase the smallest one that will meet your needs and ensure it has an Energy Star symbol. This energy saving tip ensures you are getting one of the most energy efficient appliances available.

Clean your refrigerator heating coils regularly as the dust will reduce the efficiency. Keep the rubber door seals clean and tight. They should hold a piece of paper snugly - if the paper easily slips out, replace the seal.

Keep refrigerator temperature between 1.7 Celsius (35F) and 3.3 Celsius (38F) and the freezer at -18 Celsius (0F) for maximum efficiency and safety.

Dry Clothes Naturally

A clothes dryer requires a lot of energy, so why not switch to air drying your laundry on a clothes tree? When you do use your dryer, clean lint filter thoroughly after each load and don't over dry the clothes.

Reduce Summer Cooling

Set your air conditioner to 24 degrees Celcius (75 F) and raise it when you go out, or set your programmable thermostat to do this. For each degree set below 24 degrees Celcius (75F), you use 3% to 5% more energy. This energy saving tip will give you the most comfort at the least cost. Source: Your Guide to the One-Tonne Challenge, by the Government of Canada

Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

The existing light bulb we are used to is technology from over 100 years ago. It is inefficient and produces heat. A common energy saving tip is to use a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL). These bulbs cost more to purchase, they save you money over the life of the bulb. They last much longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, run cooler, and use almost 80% less electricity. Some people object to the colour of the light, so what you need to shop for is "Warm White", which is much closer to the light of a traditional bulb. Remember to keep the bulbs once they burn out for disposal with hazardous waste such as batteries as they contain mercury (about 20% of the amount found in a watch battery). Check out this 3 minute YouTube video called "CFL Lightbulbs in Plain English"

Eliminate the Power Drain

Many electronic devices use power when they are plugged in and turned off. Use power bars and timers to eliminate power vampires. If you want to understand how much electricity is being used, some libraries in Ontario allow patrons to borrow a Watt Reader, which will show you how much energy is being used.

Turn Off Computer When Not in Use

A computer left on for 24 hours uses the same amount of energy as a 13w Compact Fluorescent light bulb left on for almost 10 days (Desktop with CRT monitor). Most people wouldn't leave a light on for 10 days, so why does it make sense to not turn off a computer? Some people are concerned that this energy saving tip will wear out the hardware faster, but those are outdated thoughts. In the last decade, computer hardware has evolved and will not be adversely affected by turning the machine on and off. For additional energy savings, plug in all your computer devices to a power bar and turn off the power bar after the computer is shut down. These devices use electricity when plugged in and turned off.

Add Shade to Reduce Air Conditioning

Planting deciduous trees (trees with leaves that fall off in the winter) on the sunny side of a building will block the summer's sun from heating it up, and in the winter, after the leaves are off the tree, the sun will help heat the building. Sometimes all we need to do is look at nature to learn some energy saving tips.

Turn off the Heat in Summer

Turn off all sources of heat, such as lights, appliances and electrical equipment when not in use in the summer. This will help keep your home or workplace cooler and reduce the need for fans or air conditioning. At home you can do your baking, washing, drying, and ironing early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler.

Use Fans Instead of Air Conditioning

Use fans as your first line of defence against summer heat. For example, a 60-watt ceiling fan costs between 8 cents and $1.50 to operate monthly, while an air conditioner can cost between $6.75 and $40.50 a month. This energy saving tip will not only help the environment, but save you money too! Source: Your Guide to the One-Tonne Challenge, by the Government of Canada

Use LED Lighting

Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting is extremely energy efficient. They are now common in Christmas lighting and making inroads in other areas. The LEDs are about 100 times more energy efficient than traditional lighting. For example, there are many companies saving money simply by changing their exit signs to use LEDs.

Use Less Lighting

The goal here is to conserve energy. Even if you use CFL or LED lighting, turn off lights that aren't being used. Make sure you turn on outdoor lights only when they're needed. This energy saving tip will not only help reduce your Carbon Footprint, it will also keep more money in your pocket.

Have you ever noticed outdoor business signs are generally lit up 24 hours a day? Adding light timers is a simple solution to significantly reduce energy consumption when they are not needed during the day and during the late night and early morning hours.

Dishwasher Energy Efficiency

Energy Star LogoTo make more efficient use of your dishwasher, only run it when there is a full load. Use the energy saving setting such as choosing to air-dry the dishes. If you are shopping for a dishwasher, ensure you purchase a model with an Energy Star symbol. This ensures you are getting one of the most energy efficient appliances available.

Efficient Cooking

When cooking in a pot, always use the lid to cook more efficiently. You can also turn off the oven several minutes before the cooking is done as the oven will retain the heat. If you like to experiment with energy saving tips, consider using a solar oven.

Energy Saving Pool

While having a pool to reduce your use of an air conditioner makes sense, a pool can use a lot of power to run. Consider putting the water pump on a time to run 6-8 hours per day instead of running 24 hours a day. A solar hot water system is also an efficient way to heat a pool using renewable resources.