Energy costs are rising throughout Canada. Not only that, many Canadians are becoming more conscious of their ability to impact the environment as a whole. Are you looking for ways to increase your energy efficiency or to decrease energy consumption at home? Try some of these strategies.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can easily be programmed or operated from your phone, allowing the temperature in your home to creep up (in summer) or down (in winter), then bringing it back to your preferred temperature before you get home. For every 8 hours that your home temperature is adjusted by two degrees, you can save as much as 1-2% on your energy bill, leading to a substantial savings over the course of the year.

2. Try Motion Sensor Lights

While you might not want the lights in your living room to go off just because you’ve been still for too long, motion sensor lights can make a big difference in your energy bill. By turning off lights when you’re no longer in the room, especially in rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms, you can experience substantial energy savings. A look at Alberta electricity rates in 2018 will quickly tell you that it’s well worth the effort!

3. Carefully Choose When You Cook

If you’re cooking in the middle of a blazing hot summer day, it doesn’t take long before your air conditioner is working overtime. Cooking earlier in the morning or using your cooking to help warm your house on cold days, on the other hand, can go a long way toward keeping your energy bill lower and your energy usage minimal. You may also choose to cook outdoors during the summer, when the heat is highest and energy usage to cool your home is at its peak.

4. Maintain Your HVAC Unit

Schedule annual maintenance on your HVAC unit, even if you’re sure that it’s running perfectly. Regular maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your unit running smoothly, decreasing its overall energy draw and preventing the possibility of expensive repairs later.

5. Seal the Gaps

Take a walk through your home and look for any gaps around the windows and doors. Check to see if air is escaping. Sealing the gaps around your home, especially an old home, can save as much as 10% on your energy bill.

6. Check Your Bulbs

Are you using old-style bulbs? If so, it’s time to make the switch to LEDs. These bulbs are more energy-efficient and even last longer, which means their usage will substantially decrease your overall environmental impact while dropping your energy bill.

7. Use Cold Water for Washing

If you routinely wash your clothes in hot water, even when they don’t need it, you may be increasing your energy bill significantly–not to mention making it harder for your water heater. Instead, try washing your clothes on cold. It can prevent shrinkage, protect the colors in your fabrics longer, and save on energy.

8. Look for Vampire Energy Drains

Do you leave chargers plugged in even when you aren’t using them? What about your coffee maker, microwave, television, and gaming systems? All of those items continue to drain electricity even when they aren’t actively in use. In many homes, this represents a great deal of energy over the course of a month–and even more over the course of a year! Instead, develop a habit of unplugging those items that are no longer in use to create energy savings.

Are you struggling with your energy bill? With these strategies, you can easily and effectively save money on your existing bill. A little effort can go a long way toward decreasing your energy usage.