The Top 10 Ways to Save on Energy in 2019

Published on August 21, 2019

Top 10 Ways to Save on Energy in 2019
There are many different ways for you to save on energy at home. Here at the BSG offices, we put together a list of our favourite tips for energy conservation, along with a few different ways to save energy that often go overlooked in the household. 

If you have any questions about our tips for home energy conservation, or if you would like more information about how you can save on your energy bills at home, please call us toll free at 1-866-333-3920. Or, you can leave us a message on our website and one of our registered energy advisors will be happy to assist you. 

And now, the BSG office’s list of tips for home energy conservation - starting with number 10:

10.   Put Bathroom Fans on Timers

Bathroom fans use a fair amount of energy. They also get left on quite a bit and can easily be forgotten about. With a timer, you can walk away from your bathroom without worry of having to come back and turn the fan off. This prevents it from running for longer than it needs and racking up your utility bill in the process. 

Bathroom fans can also be a source of air leakage in a home, so it may be worth having an airtightness test conducted if you notice that your bathroom is drafty, or if there is a significant temperature change compared to the rest of your home.  

9.   Use Curtains to your Advantage

If you live in a home with windows that face the sun, you could use your curtains to help improve your home’s energy conservation and utility cost. By allowing the sun to shine in, you can reduce the amount of stress put on your furnace in order to keep your home a comfortable temperature. Similarly, by closing the curtains on a hot day, you can help to reflect some of the sun’s warm rays and prevent your air conditioner from working overtime. 

In fact, natural solar light is one of the strategies often used in energy efficient homes (such as Net-Zero Homes and Passive Houses), to save on energy and reduce the need for more air conditioning.  

8.   Schedule your Computers to Auto-Shutdown at Night

While simple to set-up, an auto-shutdown schedule on your computer is an effective method for home energy conservation. This makes your computer power down at night or when not in use, halting the continuous draw of energy it requires to stay powered on. If you need help setting this up, simply conduct a web search for “auto shutdown” + “the name of your operating system”. (ex: “auto shutdown windows 10”).

7.   Wash your Clothes in Cold Water and at Night

Washing clothes in cold water is a fairly well known energy saving tip, but many people are unaware that utilities almost always cost more during ‘peak hours’. By washing your clothes in cold water and at night, you are saving the most money possible by using unheated water and avoiding peak hours. To learn more about your utility prices per time of day, or to find out when peak hours start for you, contact your local utility provider.

6.   Switch to Energy Saving LED Light Bulbs

The technology is here and the time has come. By switching over to energy saving LED light bulbs you can significantly reduce the amount of electricity that your home consumes, reduce your utility cost, and improve the lighting in your home. LEDs are an affordable investment that can easily pay themselves off through utility savings. 

5.   Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can be a life-saver in terms of home comfort and energy conservation. Able to direct heating/cooling to individual rooms or turn off the heat to a room when not in use, a smart thermostat is able to control your home’s HVAC system and comfort levels in an intelligent and affordable manner. 

If you have any questions regarding which smart thermostat to choose, how they work, or their benefits, our registered energy advisors are happy to help - call us at 1-866-333-3920 or leave us a message on the Barrier Sciences website

4.   Retrofit or Replace Leaky Windows

Replacing leaky windows with an energy saving model helps you save on your energy costs by improving the overall airtightness and insulation of your home. A registered energy advisor can conduct an airtightness test to determine which windows are leaking the most air, and provide the most cost-effective solution to the issue. 

For homeowners who would like to see the benefits of a window replacement without having to undergo renovations or change their home’s aesthetic, there is the Magnetite window retrofit. Form fitted overtop of each existing window and attached using magnets, a Magnetite window retrofit provides improved air sealing and insulation - and can still be removed in seconds. 

If you are looking to find out more about Magnetite window retrofits, please contact our friends at Great Northern Institute

3.   Insulate your Attic

For most homes in Ontario, attic insulation improvements are the most cost-effective way of improving energy efficiency and utility cost. Due to something called the stack effect, strong attic insulation is able to improve the comfort level of an entire home. It prevents warm air from being forced out during the winter, and cold air from being wasted during the summer. This not only provides a more uniform temperature on every floor, but it also helps improve overall air quality and reduce your family’s risk of sick building syndrome

2.   Save on Energy Use with Home Reno Rebates 

Currently in Ontario there are a number of different rebates for home renovation improvements and energy efficiency upgrades. Most notably is the Home Efficiency Rebate program, which offers up to $5,000 of rebates to homeowners who renovate for energy efficiency. Some of the available rebates include $500 for attic insulation, $1000 for basement insulation, and up to $2000 for whole-home exterior wall insulation.

To qualify for the Home Efficiency Rebate program, you must be a customer of either Union Gas or Enbridge Gas, and you must have two energy audits performed by a certified service organization - one before renovations start, and one after they have finished. A rebate to help cover the cost of the required energy audits is also available. 

1.   Get a Home Energy Audit

The number one way for a homeowner to save on their energy expenses is to have a certified service organization conduct an energy audit of their home. An energy audit provides you with an in-depth look at the current energy performance of your home, along with a list of recommendations for how it could most cost-effectively be improved. This allows you to target the areas of your home that need the most attention, and with the smallest up-front cost possible. Also, a home energy audit is part of the application process for most energy rebates in Ontario - including the Home Efficiency Rebate program.

If you have any questions about home energy audits, the energy rebates that are currently available in Ontario, or if you would like to schedule a time for an energy audit of your very own, call us toll free at 1-866-333-3920, or stop by our website and leave us a message - our registered energy advisors are knowledgeable, experienced, and happy to help you.

Top 10 ways to save energy in 2019 infographic

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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