Cutting back power and water consumption

Cutting back power and water consumption is a way to cut costs and back the environment!

The following tips will help you reduce your energy costs and your consumption of drinking water:

A thermometer for the fridge and freezer

The ideal temperature for a fridge is between 2 and 4°C, and -18°C for a freezer. Adjusting the temperature for these appliances is a way to reduce their power consumption by 5% per degree. A fridge set at 0°C consumes 20% more energy than one set at 4°C! And you'll save even more with a full fridge and freezer.

V-shaped weatherstripping

In the winter, heating is a household's main source of energy consumption. Increase the insulation of doors and windows to help reduce heat loss and heating bills by 5 to 10%.

24-hour mechanical timer

Install a mechanical timer to limit the amount of time your lights are on. A 24-hour mechanical timer has two benefits: significant savings on your electrical bill and added security for your home when you're away.

Electrical outlet and switch insulators

A house that is not airtight can consume up to 15% more power annually. Adding insulation under electrical outlet and switch boxes will reduce drafts.

Window insulation kit

In the winter, heating is a household's main source of energy consumption. Better insulated doors and windows reduce heat loss and, as a result, help reduce heating costs by 5 to 10%.

Compact fluorescent bulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs use up to 75% less energy and last up to ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. While they may be more expensive, their 10,000-hour lifespan makes them more economical in terms of bulb replacements.

Foam insulation for pipes

To retain the heat in your hot water pipes, wrap them in a sheath of foam insulation. You can also use this insulation on cold water pipes to prevent condensation.

Leak detection pellets

A leaking toilet can waste up to 550 litres of water a day! Place a pellet in the tank to determine whether you have a leak. If necessary, follow the instructions to stop the leak.

Toilet Tank Bank

The toilet is one of the appliances in your house that uses the most water, amounting to approximately 30% of a home's water consumption. A Tank Bank will help save three litres of water every time you flush, which could cut your annual water consumption by up to 14,000 litres! And remember to toss your tissues into the brown bin so you'll flush less.

Energy-efficient showerhead

This type of showerhead reduces water and power consumption without any loss in jet pressure. A family of three can expect to save more than 30,400 litres of water annually, which comes to approximately 10,000 litres per person!

Low flow faucet aerators

Replacing an older aerator with a low-flow model can reduce your water and power consumption by up to 55% at next to no cost. While you're at it, you might as well replace any leaky faucets! And remember to clean your aerators from time to time.

Hourglass shower timers

These little hourglasses let you see how long the shower has been running. It is generally recommended that they be set for five minutes, which will save tremendous amounts of water!

Grow bag

There is a lot to be said for urban agriculture. For one thing, it produces local foods, which means energy savings due to less transportation, as well as urban greening and beautification, which in turn means fewer heat islands and hence less air conditioning. Use the grow bag for herbs, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes or eggplants!

Reusable bags

Keep reusable bags handy (in your purse, car, etc.) to replace single-use bags!

All of these items are available in better hardware stores!

Do more at home!

  • Dry your clothes on a clothesline or laundry rack instead of in the dryer. Not only will you cut back your energy consumption, but you`ll extend the life of your clothes!
  • Reduce phantom power used by your electronics/appliances by hooking them up to a power bar that can be easily turned off when the equipment is not being used.
  • In the winter, tap into the heat of the sun by keeping your blinds open throughout the day, and in the summer do the reverse.
  • Keep a water jug in the fridge. This will avoid having to run the tap every time you want a glass of cold water!
  • Use a rain barrel to supply the water for your garden. In the summer, 75% of the city's drinking water is used on lawns and flower beds!
  • When you leave home, turn down the thermostat. Do the same for every room that is not being used.
  • Shut off the oven five minutes before the food is done. Anything in there will keep cooking in the residual heat, which will no longer be wasted.
  • Thaw out frozen foods in the fridge instead of in the microwave.
  • Sign up to receive and pay your bills online.
  • Instead of heating your pool, use a solar blanket.
  • Do not open the oven door when it is on because this releases approximately 20% of its heat every time you do.
  • If you are thinking about replacing your old wood stove, opt for an electric, natural gas, propane or pellet stove instead. They pollute less!
  • Buy ENERGY STAR® rated appliances. These days you can find this energy efficiency certification on a whole range of appliances.
  • If you are thinking about replacing your car, opt for a fuel efficient model that is adapted to your needs!

Do more at the office!

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Redirect your energy use to improve your health!
  • Turn off your office lights when you leave, as well as those in any empty rooms. Contrary to popular belief, it costs less to turn lights off and on even if it's for only a few minutes.
  • Always use washable dishes instead of disposable ones. Bring a mug for your morning coffee.
  • Turn off your electronic equipment at the end of the day (printer, computer, etc.).
  • Always print on both sides of the page!
  • Rethink your business meeting habits. There is often no need to drive to meetings when you can teleconference or videoconference instead.
  • Buy reusable CDs and DVDs.
  • Reuse office supplies such as pocket folders, ring binders, folders and binders.

For additional information, consult Quebec's ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune Web site at www.efficaciteenergetique.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca.

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