Reducing energy use and saving money – Appliances and electronics

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There’s a lot of talk these days about energy efficiency, and you may be wondering what you can do around the house to reduce energy consumption and save money. Here are a few tips related to appliances and electronics.

  • Out of all domestic appliances, refrigerators consume the most energy – approximately 11% of total household consumption. Set your fridge at 2–3°C and keep your coils clean to maximize efficiency. The freezer should be set at around -18°C, and be sure to defrost it regularly to keep it running efficiently.
  • Microwaves use less energy than conventional ovens or stoves, so use them as much as possible.
  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter after every load and maximize heat by drying consecutive loads. Wash full loads of laundry only and pre-treat stains to reduce water use and save energy. Short wash cycles tend to use less water than permanent press or normal cycles, and washing clothes in cold water can save you 85-90% of heating energy.
  • Air dry dishes by selecting a “no heat” dry setting. If “no heat” isn’t an option, open the dishwasher door before the dry cycle and let the dishes air dry. You can also save water and heating energy by running it when it’s full, rather than half loads.
  • Turn off or unplug appliances when they’re not being used, including televisions, computers and monitors. This will reduce standby power use, and less energy is used to turn them off and on than leaving them on. Putting home electronics, entertainment systems and computers on a power bar also increases energy efficiency.
  • The next time you’re looking at buying a computer, remember that a laptop uses about 80% less energy than a desktop. You can also reduce energy consumption by purchasing used electronics and donating old electronics to a school or charity instead of throwing them away.

These are just a few suggestions of things you can do. We’ll cover other tips related to food, water, and heating and cooling your home in future posts, so stay tuned.

Also keep an eye out for announcements related to three Energy Efficiency Alberta programs that will be launched this spring.

Albertans will have the opportunity to access no-charge installation of energy efficiency products like LED lights, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads through the Residential No-Cost Energy Savings Program.

The Residential Retail Products Program offers rebates to residential customers at retail outlets around the province, with initial focus on lighting, insulation and appliances, with additional options such as consumer electronics, water-heating products, and others offered in subsequent campaigns.

The Business, Non-Profit, Institutional Energy Savings Program will provide organizations with access to incentives for high-efficiency products such as lighting, heating and cooling systems, and hot water systems.

3 thoughts on “Reducing energy use and saving money – Appliances and electronics

  1. Where is the program to encourage solar panels on homes, linked to the grid to reduce the need for new power plants & high voltage lines? The public needs technical advice, support and economics of scale, to reduce installation costs that would reduce power demand from fossil fuel and make the public less dependent on big business & lower our monthly power bills.

    • Hello and thanks for your question. Residential solar and community energy programs are still being evaluated and considered. Updates will be shared on the website energyefficiency.alberta.ca when information becomes available.

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