100 ways to save energy

For homeowners

1 Get an energy audit of my home — and act on the results.
The Government of Ontario will help fund an audit and related retrofits to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Get more information from the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure at www.homeenergyontario.ca or by calling 1-888-668-4636.

2 Have my central air conditioning and furnace serviced.
Use a licensed HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) professional to ensure maximum performance.

3 Clean my air conditioning unit’s condenser of dirt and debris.

4 Clean or replace my furnace filter (especially, if I have central A/C).
Change or clean it monthly through the summer and every three months in winter.

5 Install a programmable thermostat.
A properly set programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10 per cent.

6 Improve the insulation of my home.

7 Reduce air leaks in my home.
Caulk around windows, apply good quality weather stripping around doors, and install foam gaskets behind the cover plates of lighting fixtures, wall switches and receptacle face plates, especially on exterior facing walls.

8 Sign up for peaksaver® (if available where you live).
Allow your utility to turn down your air conditioner for short periods during hot summer weekdays when the demand for electricity is high. (Visit Guelph Hydro to find out more about the program and the cash incentives).

9 Right-size your refrigerator.
Even an energy-efficient model can’t give you maximum savings if it’s too big for your needs.

10 Get rid of my old energy-guzzling second fridge.
Take advantage of the fridge and freezer pickup.

11 Upgrade to ENERGY STAR® windows.
This change could reduce overall annual energy costs by up to 12 percent.

12 Install a solar or tankless/instantaneous hot water heater.
This change will dramatically reduce water heating costs.

13 Install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the rooftop.
You might even produce more energy than you can use.

14 Install a ground-source heat pump.
You can produce at least two-thirds of the energy needed to heat your home this way, meaning savings of 30 to 70 per cent off your home heating costs.

15 Get a pool pump timer.

16 Make sure I have a thermal pool blanket.
A blanket will reduce heat loss and water evaporation.

17 Consider solar panels to heat my pool.
Solar panels can heat your pool very cost-effectively.

18 Specify that I want my new home to meet ENERGY STAR® standards.

19 Landscape for energy savings.
Plant coniferous trees on the north side to protect from winter winds. Plant deciduous trees to shade the south-facing windows in the summer.

For everyone at home

20 Use EnerGuide (Natural Resources Canada) ratings.
These ratings can help you make purchasing decisions about energy-efficient appliances, heating and cooling equipment, and even vehicles.

21 Fight phantom load – unplug electronics that draw power even when they’re turned off.
This includes TVs, cable TV boxes, clocks, microwave ovens and any items using “power cubes” (such as handheld vacuums and baby monitors).

22 Upgrade to ENERGY STAR®-qualified appliances.
Look for ENERGY STAR® entertainment products too.

23 Adjust the water level on the washing machine.
Match the water level to the size of your load.

24 Wash only full loads of laundry.
And, better yet, use only cold water

25 Do my laundry on evenings and weekends.
Electricity demand is lower at these times.

26 Hang my clothes outside to dry.
Your neighbours might be inspired to follow your great example!

27 Clean the lint out of my dryer after each load of laundry.

28 Use a toaster oven or microwave instead of the oven, whenever possible.

29 Opt for an electric frying pan instead of a range top.

30 Try slow cooking.
It actually reduces energy use even though cooking times are extended.

31 Use pots with tight-fitting lids.
Your food will cook faster.

32 Use the oven light to check on my food instead of opening the door.

33 Use an automatic shut-off kettle.

34 Always set my dishwasher to air dry and only run it when full.

35 Allow hot food to cool before placing it in my refrigerator.

36 Thaw my frozen foods in the refrigerator.
This can reduce spoilage and even help keep the fridge cool.

37 Vacuum my refrigerator coils to keep them efficient.

38 Use the oven’s self-cleaning option after cooking.
You can take advantage of the existing heat.

39 Make my showers shorter to use less energy and hot water.
Showers use much less water than a bath!

40 Install low-flow toilets.
You’ll save on water use and on the energy needed to pump water. Look for rebates at guelph.ca/water

41 Rinse my dishes in a tub of clean water.
It uses more energy to run them under hot running water.

42 Fix dripping faucets, especially leaky hot water faucets.

43 Insulate around my water pipes.
Wrap the first metre on cold water pipes and the first two metres on hot water pipes running to and from the tanks.

44 Install a water heater jacket and low-flow faucet aerators.

45 Use a manual lawn mower.
You’ll save energy and get some exercise.

46 Open a window or use ceiling fan.
Often air conditioning isn’t really needed.

47 Set my air conditioner at 25°C when I’m home and 28°C when away.
You can even turn it off if you’re not going to be home.

48 Set my heat/thermostat at 20°C when I’m at home and 18°C overnight.

49 Install solar reflective film on my windows.
Use it on southeast, southwest and south facing windows to keep the sun’s heat from entering.

50 Use insulated drapes or energy-saving cellular / honeycomb blinds in the winter
They help to keep the heat inside your home.

51 Use drapes/blinds, awnings and shades in the summer to keep the heat out
And close them when you’re going to be out of the house.

52 Turn off the monitor if I’m not going to use my computer for more than 20 minutes.

53 Turn off both the monitor and the CPU if I’m not going to use it for more than 2 hours.

54 Turn off your screensaver.
It doesn’t save energy! Or your screen.

55 Use power bars with on/off switches, automatic shutoff, or integrated timers.

56 Replace my high-use incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR®-qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) wherever it makes sense.
They use up to 75 per cent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer.

57 Install dimmer switches and use dimmable CFLs.

58 Use task lighting.

59 Place floor lamps or table lamps in corners.
The light will reflect from both walls, making the room brighter without additional lamps.

60 Install motion sensors to turn off lights automatically.

61 Keep all air registers/radiators free of obstructions that impede air flow.
Have your ducts cleaned annually.

62 Use LED (light emitting diode) seasonal / celebration lights.
Traditional incandescent lights use more energy.

63 Use solar-powered outdoor lights. 

For parents and caregivers

64 Teach my children good energy conservation habits.
Habits are formed early, so set a good example.

65 Think of ways to reward my kids for good conservation habits.

66 Choose games and toys for my children with energy use in mind.

For kids of all ages

67 Turn off the lights whenever I leave a room.

68 Decide what I want before opening the refrigerator door.

69 Turn off televisions, computers, and game consoles when I’m finished using them.

70 Ask my parents about other ways I can help conserve.

For travellers

71 Put my indoor and outdoor lights on timers.
Don’t leave your lights on 24/7 while you’re away.

72 Put my water heater on the vacation setting, if it has one.

73 Choose green-rated hotels when travelling for business or pleasure.

74 Pull the plug on my battery chargers.
Laptops, cell phones and digital cameras always draw power if they’re plugged in.

At school – teachers

78 Encourage my school, college or university to take conservation seriously.

79 Be a role model for good conservation.
You have the power to influence classmates, friends and family.

80 Make my school leadership aware of energy waste, wherever and whenever I spot it at school or on campus.

At work – employers

81 Train myself or an employee to become an Energy Conservation Officer.
Making conservation someone’s responsibility will set your business on the path of saving energy.

82 Participate in an OPA commercial demand response program.
Your company can benefit even more from your efforts to conserve. Learn more ateverykilowattcounts.ca.

83 Organize conservation learning opportunities for the people who work with me.
Educate and encourage employees who identify and implement energy savings.

84 Reward the people who work with me for their innovative, money-saving ideas.
Celebrate the implementation of successful energy efficiency measures.

85 Ensure meeting rooms are equipped with light switches.

86 Install light emitting diodes (LEDs) in suitable 24-hour-use locations.
Consider them for elevators, hallways and parking garages.

87 Replace my incandescent or fluorescent EXIT signs with LED EXIT signs.

88 Install high-quality electronic ballasts along with T8 florescent tubes.

89 Install new high-performance chillers.
This will improve the performance of your building’s air conditioning system.

90 Use modular load control technology. 
This technology can reduce energy use by briefly cycling off electricity demand.

91 Install effective automatic door closers.
Doors can’t save energy if they’re not closed!

At work – employees

92 Turn off meeting room lights when not in use.
In the summer, unnecessary lighting can increase air conditioning load.

93 Dim, turn off or remove lights near windows in the daytime.
Use efficient task lighting where needed.

94 Use the stairs instead of taking the elevator, if I am able.
It not only saves energy, it’s good exercise.

95 Unplug coffeemakers, toasters and microwaves.
Make sure they’re unplugged on weekends and before shutting the office down for the holidays.

96 Keep entrance doors closed.

97 Use the revolving doors into my office building.
Revolving doors keep heat and cool air inside.

98 Use standby mode for computers and copiers.
These tend to be in use only a fraction of the time they are turned on.

99 Turn all equipment off at the end of the day.
This includes lights, copiers, computers and computer monitors.

100 Use paper-reducing strategies.
Consider double-sided printing, re-using paper, and using e-mail instead of mailing or faxing documents.

*source: Ontario Power Authority 2009 Count Me in Challenge