Your energy efficiency checklist: tips for working and studying from home

We've all been spending a lot more time at home this year. And whether you’re working or studying remotely, or simply spending more time with family at home, it can mean an increase in your energy use. Not to mention, during these cold weather months, up to 60 per cent of your energy use can be attributed to heating. The colder it is outside, the harder your heating system has to work to keep your home comfortable.

Add up more time at home, with the winter heating season, and you could be looking at a higher power bill. That’s where energy efficiency comes in.

With these tips, you can make a few small changes to help bring your energy costs down.

Manage how you heat your home

  • Most Nova Scotians prefer a room temperature between 19 and 22 degrees. Since many homes have more than one heating zone (meaning multiple thermostats to adjust temperatures based on the usage of the room), make sure you only heat the rooms you use.
  • Review the settings of your programmable thermostat and consider adjusting your settings to match any changes in your lifestyle.
  • Reducing the room temperature at night or when you’re not at home is an effective way to save on your bill.
  • Close your curtains at night to limit heat loss from windows.

Make small changes to how you use your appliances

  • Baking can be a great hobby, but remember that ovens use a lot of electricity. A typical electric oven runs on about 2kWh of energy for 60 minutes of baking. That’s about 30 cent per hour.
  • While you’re cooking or baking, remember that your oven can give off heat. While you’re pre-heating your oven, try turning down your thermostat. Your oven can pick up the slack and help keep your home warm.
  • Slow cookers can reduce your electricity consumption for cooking.  Make sure you select the right sized slow cooker and fill the pot effectively. Setting the correct cooking time and the right temperature is essential too. Depending on size, model and cooking time, a slow cooker may cost you 20-30 cents per use.
  • Run your dishwasher only when the load is full.

Remember energy efficiency when you’re learning or working from home

  • Using a power strip makes it easy to switch off at the end of the day.
  • Turn off your printer and other devices when not in use.
  • Proper lighting can help you focus on your task at hand. Use daylight where possible, and choose LED lighting when needed. It uses the least amount of electricity.

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