Author: Anna Hall, Workshop Facilitator – Regina
Using renewable energy is only one component in mitigating climate change. Reducing energy consumption is the other. When we reduce our electricity consumption at home, it puts less strain on the electricity grid, which in turn means we need less energy generation overall. There are easy ways to ensure you are saving electricity, while working towards a renewable world.
Canada has been taking steps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in our atmosphere. However, the way in which Canada has been producing electricity has been changing quickly. In the past couple of years, about 80% of Canada’s electricity came from non-greenhouse gas emitting sources, with wind and solar on the rise. This is something to celebrate!
Using renewable energy sources for electricity generation is only one part of the equation. Energy conservation fills in the other side of the equation by reducing the amount of electricity we need in our day to day lives. Being connected in our day to day lives requires a lot of power but reducing energy demand does not mean moving away from our current standards of living. There is a lot of potential for Canadians to become more energy efficient by changing a few small, but important, habits.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you get there
Turn off the lights
This might be the most common phrase you may hear when having a discussion on reducing energy in your home. It may also be the simplest. One flick of the switch and you are saving power.
Change your light bulbs
LED (Light emitting diodes) bulbs are about 90% more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. Not only that, but they last longer, too.
Stop the Phantoms
Most devices in your home use stand-by power, even when they are turned off. Chargers even when plugged into the wall and not into a device use electricity. Unplug when not in use – these account for at least 10% of your energy bill. Alternatively, plug things into power bars that can power down electronics when not in use.
When possible choose energy efficient appliances
There are many models of electronics that have energy-saving ratings! When choosing to upgrade these appliances, do research into companies who make their products better for the environment by using less electricity.
Enrol the whole family
Reducing the amount of energy in your home requires a team effort from all members of the family. Turning energy reduction into a game by trying to beat the cost of last month’s energy bill is a way to set goals and turn electricity savings into a treasure hunt.
Every watt of energy counts for something. There are many actions beyond this list that will help ensure your energy bill stays low, while also reducing your greenhouse gas footprint. Leading by example can help teach children how to save, while making it fun.
We provide and build on energy conservation tips in our workshops available for your children’s classes.