Watt's It All About?

A lot of the electricity produced in Canada comes from the burning of non-renewable fossil fuels. As our demand for electricity increases, so does the rate at which power plants need to burn these fuels. Burning fossil fuels to produce electricity is a primary source of greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Stop window drafts by caulking gaps or adding weather stripping.
    By draft proofing your home with caulking and weather stripping you can reduce your home heating needs by up to 20% and reduce GHG emissions by up to a half tonne. You can locate window drafts (air leakage) by spotting condensation, feeling with a moistened finger or by using draft detectors (try dangling a feather or thread to check for air movement from drafts).
  2. Turn off lights in a room that is not in use.
    Turning off one 60-watt bulb for one hour per day when not needed can save up to 0.19 tonnes a year. The amount of electricity needed to light a Canadian home results in almost one third of a tonne of GHGs each year. Why not make a little reminder note or sign and put it near light switches to remind family members to turn off the lights.
  3. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent light bulbs.
    Compact florescent light bulbs last up to ten times longer and use one quarter of the electricity of a standard incandescent light bulb. Replace 5 standard incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact florescent light bulbs and you could reduce your GHG emissions by 1/5 of a tonne.
  4. Keep the fridge door closed as much as possible. Check for air leaks around the fridge door and check the internal temperature of the fridge, then adjust as necessary.
    You can check the door seal of a refrigerator by using piece of paper. The paper should be held tightly closed door at any point around perimeter to see if there are air leaks. However, the biggest leaks from a fridge occur when you leave it open! A good idea is to think ahead about what you will be taking out or putting into the fridge, so that the door is not not ajar unnecessarily. Take the temperature at its most optimal efficiency setting, between 1.7 deg C and 3.3 C, adjust accordingly.
  5. For every 1 degree C you lower your thermostat, you save 2% on your heating bill. Consider setting your house thermostat at 22 degrees Celsius or lower during the day and 18 degrees C or less at nighttime.
    Any changes in the thermostat setting should only be done with the supervision of an adult. A reduction of 3 degrees Celsius at night or when you are away during the day can reduce you GHG's by half a tonne. A programmable thermostat makes this easier to control.
  6. Turn off the computer when it is not in use or at the end of the day
    Ensure your computer system is set up to use its energy-saver option, which can save you 1/20 tonnes. Turning off a computer at night can save up to 0.2 tonnes. If you have the choice, use a laptop computer instead of a desktop computer because it can use up to 90% less energy.
  7. Take advantage of window coverings and curtains to save on energy.
    During the summer, keep blinds, curtains and windows closed to help keep your home cooler. Consider keeping curtains open during winter days will allows passive solar energy into your home while closing the curtains in the evening helps keep out the cold air.
  8. Make certain that weather stripping on doors is in good repair.
    Locate door drafts by using a draft detector, a feather or tissue strip attached to a tooth pick. Caulking or weather stripping around doors can reduce energy costs.

Let’s go to element 2 – and become a water spy!

Small actions add up to make a TONNE of difference!


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