Save money on your home energy costs
The energy bills in many homes are rising these days, forcing people to look into new ways to cut costs. But CTV consumer reporter Lynda Steele has some advice on how to shave a few dollars off your monthly energy bills.
From an electric toothbrush to your home computer and game console, there are lots of things in a home that draw electricity all day long. In fact, an average TV and PVR system can use almost as much electricity as a refrigerator over the course of a year.
If you're looking for ways to cut costs, gas fireplaces are a good way to space heat a room instead of the whole house. Ceiling fans are cheaper and more electricity-efficient than air conditioners. And skip the clothes dryer and let the sun do the job for free.
"You can hang your clothes to dry. That's going to save about 10 percent of your electricity bill over the course of a year," said Pat Mathot, BC Hydro Power Smart Specialist.
Make sure to check the weather stripping on your doors to see if it needs to be replaced. As well, you can install screen doors for better ventilation and regulate the heat manually.
Double glazed windows and doors stop heat or cool air from leaking in or out of the home. Finally, you can switch to LED lights which are up to 80 per cent more energy efficient.
If you're thinking of giving your home an energy retrofit, with new windows or insulation, there are big government incentives to it this year.
B.C. rebates are ongoing, but the federal rebates will only be available until March of 2012.
Before you apply you need to have an eco-energy audit done. That will cost $300, but you get half of that back. You can also get more than $1,200 back for installing a new energy efficient furnace, or $1,000 back for new insulation.
You can get all of the information online at www.bchydro.com
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele