Energy Conservation

Everyone talks about saving energy, money and the planet through conservation. We have prepared a list of tips, rebate programs and resources to get you started for home or business:

Any-time Tips:

  • Flick the switch: Turn off lights, TVs, appliances and other devices when you are not using them.
  • Create ambience AND save money. Install and use a dimmer switch. Dimmed bulbs use less power.
  • Consider adding renewables to your energy mix. Bring in an expert to assess and recommend solutions right for you. (Hint: We can help!)
  • Energy Auditors can assess energy efficiency and recommend improvements
  • "Net Metering": Produce your own solar energy and "sell" surplus to the power utility to lower your energy bills. 

Money Down the Drain? Hot Water Savings:

  • Install a solar hot-water system. Check out grant and low interest loan programs in Nova Scotia.
  • Short showers use about 20% as much hot water as a bath.
  • Add an aerator onto your sink faucet. 
  • Install a low-flow shower head. Some even come with timers!
  • Do you know how hot your water heater heats to? 60° Celcius is all you really need.
  • Using a traditional water heater? Keep the tank and pipes insulated.
  • Plug it up. Instead of using running water, fill your sink basin halfway for washing a batch of dishes.
  • Washing clothes in cold water will save energy and keep fabrics brighter. 

Keep Your Cool with Summer Tips:

  • Invest in a properly installed heat pump to cool (and heat in cool months) your home or office.
  • Maintain your air conditioning unit(s) according to manufacturer instructions to optimize efficiency, including filter changes.
  • Before you buy, consider the energy efficiency of air conditioning units by comparing the SEER ratings. The higher the #, the greater the efficiency.
  • Increasing the therostat by 1 degree Celcius can equal a five percent savings.
  • Go au naturel. Open windows and use fans, particularly at night, to circulate fresh, cool air.
  • Close the drapes and shades, particularly on southern facing windows, to reduce solar heating.
  • Even your air conditioner can benefit from a little shade. Plants, trees or structures block sunlight without blocking airflow.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically keep temperatures a little warmer when you are not home.

Weather the Winter Tips:

  • Invest in a properly installed heat pump to heat (and cool in hot months) your home or office.
  • Surprise, Solar PV actually works best in the cold! Think solar heating.
  • Windows let light in and, unfortunately, heat out. Up the integrity of your windows by adding plastic cling film to reduce drafts in winter. 
  • Check seals around windows and doors and add weatherstripping and caulk where needed.
  • Use a programmable thermostat to automatically keep temperatures a little lower when you are not home or are sleeping. 
  • Grab a comfy hoodie, sweater or blanket and lower the thermostat. Even one degree can make a big difference.
  • Add an extra blanket and you won’t even notice lowering the thermostat 2 degrees at night.
  • Unused space? Keep the door closed and heat off in rooms you do not often use.
  • Throw rugs can both soften and warm up cold floors.
  • Maintain air filters on your furnace according the manufacturer instructions.
  • Go with the flow - ensure air vents or baseboard heaters are unobstructed.
  • Reverse the direction of a ceiling fan to push warm air down.
  • "Net Metering": Produce your own solar energy and "sell" surplus to the power utility to lower your energy bills. 

Keep it Clean - Laundry Tips:

  • Your dryer creates a lot of heat. When one load is done, throw in another right after to take advantage of the heat already created.
  • Keep your dryer hose reasonably short and clean the lint trap before each load and clean the lint trap before each load.
  • Let your dryer shut off when it detects that the load is dry rather than using the timer.
  • Fill'er up. Run full, though not overfull, loads of wash.

Kitchen Tips:

  • Stoves and ovens can be real power piggies. Microwaves, electric kettles, and toaster ovens heat more efficiently. 
  • Ice buildup in the freezer reduces its efficiency. If it keeps frosting up, check the seal around the door/drawer for integrity.
  • For high efficiency, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol.

Savings at Work - Business Tips:

  • Compact fluorescent lights can save 50% of the cost of using incandescent bulbs.
  • Let printers and copiers go to "sleep" when not in use.
  • Why not make the most of natural light during the day? Reduce glare, turn off the lights, save $$$.
  • Consider adding renewable energy to the mix to reduce expenses and increase ethical corporate impact. Talk to an expert.
  • "Net Metering": Produce your own solar energy and "sell" surplus to the power utility to lower your energy bills. 
  • Invest in a properly installed heat pump to heat (and cool in hot months) your home or office.
  • Look to grants and subsidies to "green" up operations and save $$$, save the planet.
  • For high efficiency, look for the ENERGY STAR symbol.
  • Use an automatic thermostat to regulate temperatures around business hours.
  • Turn off computers at night.
  • Assess old equipment and systems. Time to invest in upgrades or improvements to increase energy efficiency?
  • Think before you print.
  • Laptops use less energy than desktops.

Rebates, Financing and Resources:

Nova Sun Power installed two Fujitsu heat pumps and a solar hot water system for me in 2010.  Rob MacKean was extremely helpful. But more importantly, he is very resourceful and was able to find unobtrusive ways to install which is hugely important in an old house such as mine. Since the installation he has also helped with various upkeep needs. I recommend this company highly.

Angela

Tatamagouche