Living Green: Ways To Save Money And Energy

Green living. Conservation. Renewable energy. These are just some terms that have popped out in the recent years and have become more emphasized not just in books, newspapers, or at schools, but also in our everyday, practical lives. We have continuously looked for energy efficiency services and methods to save on our basic expenses for electricity, water, and food. Austerity has become a code of conduct for most governments and a lifestyle for most households.

Energy efficiency in the GTA is also a hot topic and why not? This is in response to the city’s commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, relative to 1988 levels. The Energy Efficiency Office (EEO) is responsible for developing and coordinating the implementation of an energy efficiency and conservation strategy for Toronto. These strategies include hydro rebates in GTA, Lighting retrofits for Toronto buildings, and Toronto energy efficiency rebates for households.

Living green and contributing to your local government’s energy conservation strategies is all about making the choice to do so and learn more about ways to save energy and lessen our carbon footprint. Right in our very homes we can make changes that will not only save is money, but also can reduce the impact of nasty emissions that contribute to climate change.

Lighting is one good area to start. For an average household, there is about 6% of its budget that goes into lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Good thing is that there are available energy-efficient lighting bulbs or fixtures at your hard ware stores or appliance centers. Also, if your lamps or lights have timers and motion sensors, these can also save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not being used.

Water heating is another area where we can cut back a lot of our expenses and energy consumption. It is the second largest energy expense in your homes and typically eats up 18% of your utility bill. Some of the most helpful and effective ways to cut your water-heating bill is to use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient model.

Now, let us tackle the area that uses the most energy and costs more money than any other system in our homes “Heating and Cooling.

Heating and cooling takes up about 54% of your utility bill. But do not worry, no matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, there are ways to cut back on your expenses and more importantly contribute in energy conservation. Since heating and cooling is a big part of the overall energy consumption in your home, it is advisable to use the  “whole-house“ approach in saving energy. For example, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as compared to combining proper equipment maintenance and thermostat settings on your appliances and home equipment. If done properly this strategy can save you anything from 20-50% of your energy bill.

With these simple energy saving methods for your home, you can make sure that you do not only save money, but also help your local government in its campaign for a more energy-efficient city.

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