Utility costs in Canada are not only higher than in the US, but they also increase at a faster rate. While the rates vary between provinces and states, the national averages show the challenges that many residents of the Great White North experience each year.
Fortunately, there are several steps Canadians can take to minimize electricity costs. Here are five tips for improving energy efficiency and saving on utilities.
Update Your Wiring
Many older homes have outdated wiring that’s overdue for an upgrade. While your house may not be in dire straits regarding safety, outdated wiring could be costing you higher utility bills. According to the experts at passelectric.ca, updating your wiring could improve the overall energy efficiency and resale value of your home.
As outdated wiring degrades, carrying a current becomes more challenging and puts more stress on the panel. It’s also important to consider that while appliances are more energy-efficient than they were in the past, they’re also larger. If your home is over 20 years old and hasn’t had any major electrical renovations, it’s worth calling an electrician for an inspection and potential upgrade.
Find and Seal Drafts
Some of the stereotypes about Canadian weather hold true. In Alberta, it can drop to -40°F during the winter months. However, it can also get incredibly hot in Canada. In 2021, the temperature in British Columbia reached a shocking 121.4 °F. In humid regions like Nova Scotia, the summer humidity levels transform 80°F into a “feels like” forecast of 95°F.
These extreme temperatures during the winter and summer months are a significant draw on home heating and cooling systems. To ensure your hard-earned money isn’t literally flying out the window, take the time each year to find and seal drafts in your home.
Add weather stripping, insulation, thermal film, and thermal curtains to help block drafts and residual heat from the sun. You can get a simple draft detector tool for under $100 at any home improvement store.
Use Power Strips
Phantom energy consumption is the power that travels from outlets to unused devices, such as your television or a phone charger that’s left in the wall. To combat phantom power consumption, consider using power strips to easily power down devices and limit energy transfer.
Consider a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters are an innovation that’s helping many homeowners reduce power costs. In some scenarios, a tankless system can save 45-60% on electric costs compared to a tank system. Also known as “on-demand” heaters, the tankless system heats water when the tap is turned on rather than maintaining a full tank of hot water all day, every day.
Before you rip out your water tank and replace it, talk to a plumber and electrician. If you live in an older home, you may need some upgrades to sustain your tankless water heater. While these upgrades are worth it in the long run, they dramatically impact the upfront costs of a tankless heater installation.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Scheduling an annual HVAC tune-up is one of the best things you can do to keep your electrical costs low in Canada. During these maintenance visits, the HVAC specialist will make adjustments and repairs to your air conditioner, heater, and vents to ensure they aren’t drawing more power than necessary. They’ll also make recommendations for you to follow between visits.
Try these simple tips to cut your electricity costs in Canada. Track your progress to see the difference small changes can make.