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Saving money on Energy
Everybody has to pay for power, and we tend to think of it as a fixed cost that we simply have to account for in our budget. While this is true there are ways to get the number down. BC Hydro has lots of resources on their website for ideas of how to be power smart. Here are some of the big ones
Spare/old fridge – An inefficient fridge could be using up to $85 of energy a year. BC Hydro offers a fridge buyback scheme where they buy your old fridge for $30. The service includes pick up and recycling. If you are buying a new more energy efficient fridge, or you simply have a second one you aren’t using consider this option
Appliance Rebates – If you find yourself having to buy a new dryer or dishwasher do your research. Certain energy efficient models will not only save you money in the long run but are eligible for tax rebates. Search the eligible models here
Lighting – Lighting your home can account for 20% of your residential energy bill. Switching to Energy Star ® rated light bulbs can really cut your costs. While LED and CFLs are more expensive to buy that incandescent bulbs, they last much longer (an LED bulb can last up to 25 years) and they use less energy for that entire time period. By the end of 2014 traditional incandescent bulbs will no longer be made available in Canada anyway so making the switch gradually as your incandescents burn out is a good plan.
Energy efficient home improvement – a lot of and energy is wasted through improperly insulated homes and inefficient heating systems. If you want to help get your overall energy costs down long term, consider investing in insulation, draft proofing and a more efficient boiler. While these are all costly projects, in the long term they can show great savings and there are tax rebates available for many of them.
While energy costs are an inevitable part of owning a home in today’s society, there are ways to reduce them, and gain a little more room in your budget at the same time.
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