Residential - Tips & tricks - To lower heating bills

Everyone agrees, energy is expensive. Recent statistics show that almost two-thirds of energy expenses are tied to heating the home, nearly one-quarter to appliances, and 15% to hot water consumption. Having said that, there are a myriad simple and inexpensive ways to save energy effectively. This is what CAA-Quebec’s residential advisory experts suggest you can do to save money:

Heat less, heat better
- Eliminate air leakage by replacing damaged weather-stripping on doors
  and windows.
- Seal gaps in openings such as basement hatches, electrical outlets on
  exterior walls, etc.
- Add more insulation to exterior walls and the attic.
- Choose an energy-efficient hot-water heater.
- Make sure the heating system is well maintained.
- Lower the thermostat by one or two degrees before going to bed.

Choosing major appliances
When buying an electric appliance, compared the EnerGuide labels to know the annual consumption of appliances in the same category as well as how the best and worst among them perform. By keeping in mind the useful lifespan of the machine and the sticker price, you’ll be able to make an informed choice.

- Cover pots and pans when cooking food.
- When heating small quantities, use a microwave oven, kettle or toaster
  oven instead of stovetop elements.
- Use long-life electric light bulbs.

Running cold and hot
- Wash clothes in cold water.
- When using the dishwasher, rinse dishes in cold water and program
  short cycles.
- Take a shower rather than a bath. Put a water restrictor on hot water taps
  and the showerhead to reduce flow.
- Insulate hot water pipes in cold parts of the house and put an insulating
  cover on the water heater.

Major renos?
Are you a homeowner planning to carry out renovations over the next few months in order to reduce your energy bill or increase your level of comfort? Then you may be interested in the EnerGuide Program, initiated by Natural Resources Canada and currently led by the Quebec-based Agence de l’efficacité énergétique (AEE), in collaboration with its partners, Hydro-Québec Distribution, the Energy Efficiency Fund and Gazifière. The goal? To encourage homeowners to make energy-efficient renovations.

For between $150 and $200 (before taxes), an independent inspector commissioned by the AEE will visit your home and carry out an energy analysis in order to set your energy efficiency rating. If you make the suggested corrections, you will increase your energy efficiency rating, which could make you eligible for financial assistance, as long as the main source of energy used to heat your home is electricity or natural gas.

For more information, consult the AEE site at www.aee.gouv.qc.ca or call 418-627 6379 (Quebec City region) or 1 877 727 6655 (toll-free).