Staying warm this winter: Seven ways to save money and energy
Winter is here—but that doesn’t mean the cold weather has to get you down. There’s nothing like coming back to a toasty home on a chilly day. And even better? Embracing the cozy season, without worrying about rising energy costs. With these energy efficiency tips, we’ve got you covered.
1- Turn off your lights and unplug your electronics when they’re not in use.
This small action can make a big impact. Even when turned off, these devices use standby power. Pro tip: Use a power bar to turn them off completely and back on easily.
2- Lower the thermostat when you're out of town.
Lowering it to 16 degrees, when you’re travelling or away for an extended amount of time, will keep your water pipes from freezing—while making it easy for you to save energy and money when you’re not home.
3- Use cold water in the washer when doing your laundry.
Cold water is just as effective for your laundry and allows you to save energy while you’re at it!
4- Use lids when cooking to heat up food faster.
By not turning your element setting to ‘high’, you can save energy and maintain heat for your food with covered cookware.
5- Turn off the heat in rooms that are not being used during the day or overnight.
By using the concept of ‘zones’ to heat certain areas of your home more than others, you can save up to 20 per cent in heating. And if you’re curious, no, keeping the room temperature constant doesn’t save energy. It takes less energy to warm up a cold room in the morning than it does to maintain a constant temperature throughout the night. Thermostats located in uninsulated basements and garages should be switched off unless you need the space heated. You can also program your thermostat to use less energy when you aren't home, then get back to a comfortable temperature by the time you return.
6- Get a rebate or energy efficient assessments and upgrades through Efficiency Nova Scotia.
Efficiency Nova Scotia offers many programs and rebates on energy efficient products to make your home comfortable and to help you save money. Think insulation, heat pumps, hot water heaters and many more. Visit Energy Efficient Homes to take advantage.
7- Program your thermostat to these temperatures based on your usage and schedule:
- 21 degrees when relaxing at home
- 18 degrees when sleeping
- 16 degrees when you’re not home
There’s a good reason why, because for every degree the thermostat is set above 21 degrees, the energy use and cost will increase two to 2.5 per cent.
You should also consider Time-of-Use Plan, or TOU rates, which can help you save money on your power bill by using power during off-peak hours. These are the time periods when electricity demand is lower like evenings, overnight, and on weekends and holidays. Customers that take part in the pilot can access lower, off-peak rates. It means that by doing laundry, or running your dishwasher during our off-peak times, you can save money. For more information, visit Time of Use Plan.
Moreover, signing up for equal billing can help you budget better for the colder months when bills tend to be higher. Our Equal Billing Plan can help you with your budget by spreading the cost of your electricity equally over 12 months. That’s right! You can avoid winter bills and instead have 12 predictable monthly payments. Consider Equal Billing, and sign up today!
It’s important to add that we offer additional support for low-income households. Winter billing season can be tough, and everyone deserves a warm home. We’re here to lend a hand.
The HomeWarming Program offers eligible Nova Scotians energy efficiency benefits. The no-charge energy assessment and free home upgrades can help save money on heating and energy. For more information, visit The HomeWarming Program.
The Home Energy Assistance Top-up (HEAT Fund) helps eligible Nova Scotians with their energy bill. The Fund provides emergency assistance for all forms of home heating, including electric, propane, oil, wood and natural gas. Fore more information, visit HEAT Fund.
We hope these seven tips come in handy and help you manage your heating habits; conserve your energy consumption; save money on your power bill; and make you feel comfortable during the not-so-comfortable winter months.
If you have any questions or are looking for more suggestions on how to conserve energy this winter, get in touch. Our Customer Care team is here to help.
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