Tips save energy

As the days gets shorter and the weather gets colder, energy demand across the province almost doubles.

As the days gets shorter and the weather gets colder, energy demand across the province almost doubles as people turn up the heat and keep lights and electronics on for longer.

Space heating costs alone can account for from 40 to 50 per cent of the average electricity bill depending on how customers heat their homes.

B.C. Hydro has some easy ways to keep bills low this winter.

Draft proof your home – Sealing the gaps and cracks with caulking and weather stripping is one of the most cost-effective steps you can take to keep the heat inside your home, reducing heat loss by up to 10 per cent.

Manage the thermostat – Install a programmable thermostat. Most people are comfortable sitting reading or watching TV at 21 C, working around the house at 20 C, and sleeping at 16 C. Heating costs rise about five per cent for every degree above 20 C that you set your thermostat.

Shade your windows – Using blinds or drapes on your windows provide insulation in the winter and summer. Heat loss from windows can account for 10 to 25 per cent of your heating bill in winter.

Maintain the heating system – Tune up your heating equipment and continue to give it regular maintenance in order to increase its energy efficiency.

Add or upgrade insulation – Upgrading your heating system might make your home warmer, but if it can’t hold the heat in, you’ll be wasting energy. Start in areas that lose the most heat, such as attics, basements and crawlspaces.

For more information and energy-efficient tips, visit bchydro.com/powersmart.