Conservation is about using the energy we consume more efficiently. This means using less energy to achieve the same outcome. There are many ways that this can be done. Replacing old inefficient equipment and appliances with more efficient ones is an obvious way to reduce energy consumption without reducing our quality of life. Changing our daily behavior, such as turning down the thermostat at night or when no one is at home is also a very cost-effective way of saving energy.
The benefits of saving energy are many, from direct cost savings and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality through lower emissions, to improving the comfort of our homes through better draft-proofing and insulation.
On this page you will find tips on how to reduce your natural gas consumption and help the environment and save money in the process.
More than 50 per cent of the total amount of energy used in a home goes toward space heating. With a few low-cost upgrades and simple habits—like putting on a sweater instead of turning up the heat—you could notice real savings on your heating costs.
On average, about one quarter of a home’s total energy use goes towards heating water. Being efficient with your water use—both hot and cold—will not only help you save on water heating costs, it will also help conserve a precious resource.
Efficient shower heads and faucet aerators use about one-third less water than older models but compensate with air-pressure technology. Meaning you can still wash the conditioner out of your hair!
Weatherization, draftproofing, weatherproofing and air sealing are terms used to describe upgrades made to exterior walls, roofs and gaps around windows and doors to help prevent heat loss. This can include caulking windows, weatherstripping doors and sealing gaps.
Your home’s heating system may warm up your house, but insulation, along with weatherization, is what will help keep that warmth from escaping.
The optimal amount of insulation depends on where your home is located within BC. Homes in colder regions need more insulation than ones in the Lower Mainland to be more comfortable in winter. Insulation effectiveness is measured by R values (or RSI values for metric). The higher the value, the more resistance the insulation has to the movement of heat.
Insulation is available in batts, such as pink fibreglass or mineral wool, loose-fill, rigid board and can also be spray-applied. Size and location of area to be insulated and whether it’s finished or unfinished space will help determine the type of insulation you choose.
Never worry about forgetting to turn the heat down after you leave the house. Programmable and smart thermostats do it for you. Plus, you can save up to 15 percent on your home’s heating costs by programming it to 17 °C for when you’re out and asleep, and no higher than 20 °C when you’re home and awake.
You change your towels and sheets on a regular basis – why not your furnace or heat pump filter? Like a dryer lint screen, a heating system filter clogs over time. Meaning it has to work longer which can equal extra energy costs. Check your filter on a monthly basis and replace it regularly, between one and six months, depending on if there are smokers and/or pets in the home. Use a tight-fitting pleated style filter for best results.
You have your car tuned up and its oil changed regularly, so why not your heating system? Have it serviced annually by a licensed contractor to ensure it’s working safely and efficiently.