Electricity Efficiency Tips,  Rebates & Incentives

The Fall 2010 Power Savings Event

The fall Power Savings Event ended on Sunday, October 31st .

Please check back with us in January 2011 for news on upcoming offers on energy-saving products!

Product Information

ENERGY STAR qualified indoor light fixtures (hard wired) with 3 or more sockets

The international high-efficiency ENERGY STAR symbol displayed on a select number of lighting products is a symbol that helps consumers to buy one of the best, and most versatile, energy-efficient products on the market.

  • ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures are environmentally friendly and use one quarter the electricity of standard fixtures.
  • These light fixtures, designed for CFLs, take into consideration their particular light reflective properties and come in hundreds of decorative styles designed for dining room, kitchen ceiling, hallway ceiling and wall, bathroom vanity fixtures, and more.
  • Distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard fixtures.
  • Check the fixture package to determine if the product is designed for use with dimmer switches or motion sensors.
  • It carries a two-year warranty.

ENERGY STAR qualified specialty CFL light bulbs (covered, decorative, dimmable, flood, spot, globe, candelabra, tri-light, etc.)

  • By replacing 5 standard (60W) incandescent light bulbs with 13W CFLs you can save up to $30 per year on your electricity bill. CFL light bulbs also use up to 75% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs.
  • ENERGY STAR qualified specialty CFL bulbs now come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They can now be used to replace incandescent bulbs in pot lights, chandeliers, bathroom strip lighting, with dimmer switches and in some outdoor applications. Measure the length and width of your current light bulb and match the CFL as closely as possible to that.
  • Specialty CFLs come in a variety of colours, such as soft white, warm white and cool white. If you’d like to maintain the yellow/orange light of an incandescent bulb, buy soft or warm CFLs, not cool white.
    Check the wattage of the bulb you are replacing and choose a CFL that states that it is the equivalent of that wattage. If you know the number of “lumens” created by your existing bulb, find a CFL with at least that number of lumens listed on the package.
  • A CFL contains a small amount of mercury that is necessary to produce the light – one-fifth of the mercury found in a wristwatch battery or 1/100 of the mercury contained in a dental amalgam. Just like paint, batteries, thermostats and other household chemicals, CFL bulbs should be disposed of safely. Check with your municipal waste management program for the preferred methods of disposal.
  • Although CFLs contain small amounts of mercury, they are far more energy-efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. This means CFLs reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electrical generating stations powered by fossil fuels, as well as the need to build new power generating stations. And because CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent, far less packaging ends up in landfills.
  • Installing ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs in every fixture is one of the smartest energy efficiency investments you can make. The ENERGY STAR symbol guarantees that your compact fluorescent bulbs have met strict specifications for quality, long life, colour, brightness, and energy savings.

Compared with standard incandescent bulbs, ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use one-third the energy while providing the same brightness.

Power bars with integrated timer or auto-shutoff

Power bars with built-in timers or with auto-shutoff allow you to control when power is available for appliances and electronic devices.

  • Ideally suited for computer workstations or home theatre systems, these power bars shut off electricity to electronic products typically left on or in “stand-by” mode. Even in “stand-by” these electronic devices consume electricity, often referred to as “phantom power”. Devices such as power bars with timers or auto-shutoff reduces phantom power consumption.
  • Power bars with timers allow you to automatically turn off electronics and appliances during the time of day in which they are unlikely to be used. For example, a power bar with a timer can be used as a charging station for all of your portable electronics. Or, if a computer or home entertainment system is almost never used between midnight and 5 pm, the power to them can be shut off entirely.
  • You can save up to 15% on your monthly electricity bill by reducing the use of phantom power.
  • Power bars with auto-shutoff can detect when an electronic product (like a computer) goes into sleep mode. When this is detected, the power bar will shut down power to designated plugs it controls where devices like a DVD or Blu-Ray players, powered subwoofers, gaming consoles or monitors, speakers and printers are plugged in.

Lighting controls (hard wired) including; indoor motion sensors, indoor timers and dimmer switches

These devices replace your standard light switch and are directly wired to your light(s).

Indoor motion sensors

  • Ideal for those rooms where you may forget to turn off the lights and for kids’ play rooms or any location where the lights do not have to be on all the time.
  • Many can be programmed to determine the amount of time without motion before shutting off.
  • Can provide security by lighting up hallways and garages automatically.
  • Although indoor motion sensors have a greater up-front cost than a traditional single-pole switch, the savings are immediate and long term.

Indoor timers – mechanical or digital

  • An indoor light switch timer allows the user to choose the amount of time to leave lights or fans on in a specific room. Some timers have the ability to be programmed to turn on and off intermittently for security purposes.
  • These devices allow consumers to set appliances or lights to turn-on or shut-off at designated times. Not only does this save energy, it also provides added security as lights come on and off automatically; important when arriving home after dark or a long absence.

Dimmer switches – available in a wide variety of styles and colours

  • A rotary knob style allows the light to be turned on at the same intensity each time while the slide type starts the lights at the lowest level each time, possibly extending light bulb life.
  • Dimmer switches allow you to vary the amount of light needed for a variety of tasks and save energy while doing it. A low level can be used when you only need ambient light and a higher level for task lighting. When the amount of light is reduced with a dimmer switch, the energy saved is almost as much as the light reduction.
  • Before installing the dimmer switch, check to see if the CFLs you are using are compatible with dimmers. If not, use that particular CFL elsewhere and buy one that is designed for use with a dimmer switch.

Programmable thermostats for electric baseboard heaters

  • A properly set programmable thermostat can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 10%.
  • In the winter, set your thermostat at 20°C when you’re home and 18°C or lower when sleeping or out for the day. For every 1°C you lower your thermostat you’ll save about 2% on your heating bill.
  • Setback savings of 10% are possible, with one setback period of eight hours each day in most Canadian locations. Two setback periods a day could result in savings of up to 20% .
  • You may wish to install your thermostat in the room you spend the most time in but keep it away from exterior walls and windows to keep the temperature right for you.
  • Installing and setting a programmable thermostat in each room with electric baseboard heaters could produce significant electricity savings.

Insulation blankets for electric water heaters

Most electric water heaters could use an extra layer of insulation to help reduce heat loss – especially if they are in a cooler area of a basement.

  • A water heater should have insulation with an R-value of at least R-24. If it doesn’t, adding insulation could reduce the amount of heat loss when water is not being drawn from the tank.
  • If your tank is warm to the touch, it likely requires additional insulation.
  • Remember that these water heater blankets are only designed for electric water heaters so it would be wise to shut-off your circuit breaker or remove the fuses before installing the blanket.
  • Insulating your water tank can reduce energy losses by 25-40%. This could save 4-9% in water heating costs.

Weatherstripping

Reduce home heating and cooling needs by up to 20% by eliminating drafts and leaks around windows, doors, baseboards and attic hatches.

  • For around windows and around the sides and tops of doors, consider adhesive-backed V-strips because they’ll fill the gaps and are easy to install.
  • For around metal or steel-clad doors, consider magnetic weatherstripping. The bottom edge of these doors will usually require specialized door or threshold sweeps that screw on the bottom edge of the door, creating a seal when the door closes.
  • For best results, thoroughly clean the surface onto which you’ll be applying adhesive-backed weatherstripping.

Pipe wrap for hot water pipes

  • An easy, inexpensive solution for reducing heat loss from water heaters, keeping water warm longer and lowering overall energy use.
  • Decreases the length of time spent waiting for hot water to arrive at the faucet or at the shower, which helps to conserve water.
  • Be sure to wrap the hot water pipe for at least the first two metres from the water heater. Also wrap the first metre of the cold water pipe that connects to the heater.
  • For best results, use pipe wrap tubing that’s the same size as the pipe placed with the seam down, taped or wired in several places to secure it.

Promoted Products

Programmable thermostats (hard wired)

  • Installing and setting a programmable thermostat for your furnace could deliver significant savings on your heating fuel and on the electricity needed to operate the furnace fan
  • In the winter, Natural Resources Canada recommends you set your thermostat to 17°C when you are sleeping or not at home and at 20°C when you are awake and home. For 1°C degree of night time setback you’ll use about 2% less energy.
  • Install your thermostat in the room you spend the most time in but keep it away from exterior walls and windows to keep the temperature right for you, where you are.
  • Installing and setting a programmable thermostat in each room for electric baseboard heaters could produce significant electricity savings.

Window Insulator Kits

  • Windows are the area of greatest heat loss in most homes. Window insulator kits are an inexpensive and easy way to significantly reduce heat loss and energy during the cooler months.
  • Easy to install, a thin plastic film is applied over the entire window and frame then the plastic is made almost invisible by using a hair dryer to shrink it until tight against the pane. The edges of the window frame are then taped down.
  • Window insulator kits also reduce uncomfortable drafts from windows.

Solar Powered Products

  • There are many products that use only solar power, such as yard lighting, security lighting, battery or portable device recharging, seasonal lights, etc. The use of solar powered generation could help reduce the amount of electricity you purchase.
  • Solar technology offers additional or supplementary source of energy that does not contribute to harmful emissions.
  • A solar power system can provide for water heating or lighting needs or simply remove some of their energy burden. This reduces reliance on city power which in turn reduces energy bills.