Monday, November 29th, 1999


There are numerous ways smart consumers can save money on their energy costs, and the smartest choices can result in hundreds of dollars in annual savings.

So says Consumer Reports, which conducted a recent telephone poll and found that 61 per cent of homeowners hold themselves accountable for reducing their home energy consumption.

With that in mind, Consumer Reports is offering tips in its October issue on ways in which consumers can start saving:

– Clean the coils behind or underneath the refrigerator.

– Skip prerinsing dishes. Consumer Reports’ tests have found consumers can save up to 6,500 gallons of water per year.

– Opt for the cold-water wash cycle and save about $60 a year.

– Put the PC to sleep and save $75 or more.

– Plug electronics into a power strip so they can all be turned off at once.

– Don’t overload the dryer.

– Open blinds and shades on cold days. Solar heat gain can raise interior temperature.

– Dust off the slow cooker. Consumers can use a lot less energy.

– Lower the temperature a degree or two before guests arrive.

– Clean or replace furnace filters monthly during the heating season.

– Lower water-heater temperature to 50 C from 55 C and insulate hot-water pipes to knock up to five per cent off energy bills.

– Weather-strip old windows and doors. It’s the surest way to close the gaps around openings, reducing heating and cooling costs by 15 to 30 per cent.

– Control outdoor lights with sensors or timers.

– Drain a bucket’s worth of water from the water heater a few times a year to remove sediment.

– Move the thermostat to an inside wall away from windows and doors.

– Add insulation. Properly insulating and sealing the home can cut heating and cooling bills by 10 per cent.

– Zone heat smartly. A portable heater can save only if the rest of the house is kept chilly. Wood-burning fireplaces can suck more heat than they put back in.

And speaking of energy savings — ever thought about turning your bath water into an energy source?


A recent electronic newsletter from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. highlights test results from an energy-saving device that recovers waste heat from showers to preheat domestic hot water.

For more information, visit

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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