As residential and commercial electricians in Calgary, we at A-Star know we work with a valuable resource that we all rely on to keep our homes and businesses comfortable and running well. We are committed to protecting the environment, as well as helping to control expenses, so we are always working to assist with decreasing energy consumption as much as possible.
Our first A-Star Energy of Calgary blog explored the benefits of LED lighting, which use up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. We have also previously gone through several easy ways to reduce your electricity use, exploring such options as simple as turning out the lights, unplugging your devices (including your computer!), being water-conscious and using ENERGY STAR appliances.
Here are a few more options you may not have heard of to help ease our impact on the environment while also watching our wallets.
Reducing Your Energy Use Now
1. Dimmer switches and timers. Lighting controls such as dimmer switches and timers are simple and effective for helping to conserve energy. Consult with your Calgary electrician as to the best way to set these up.
2. Use lamps more and ceiling lights less. Lamps and other forms of task lighting tend to use lower-wattage bulbs and consume less energy. Turn off your overhead lights and turn on your lamps when rooms get dark. It’s also smart to rely on daylight as much as you can (south-facing windows allow in the most light).
3. Keep it cool(er). Warming up water takes a lot of energy. Using less hot water for showers and your appliances should help lower your power bills by a noticeable amount.
4. Go mobile! Desktop computers use a surprising amount more energy than laptops. AND, you can’t take them anywhere! Laptop computers can be configured to contain a remarkable amount of computing power, and will use less energy.
5. Change your laundry habits. Today’s washers and dryers are well-equipped to clean larger loads very well with cold water. An additional tip is to toss a towel in with your dryer load to help reduce drying times.
6. Be refrigerator efficient. Keeping your refrigerator and freezer too cool is not only bad for the environment – it’s also bad for your food. Cold temperatures easily damage produce, and unfortunately you won’t notice until it’s too late. The optimal temperature for your fridge is +2 degrees Celsius, and your freezer is -18 degree Celsius. Remember the advice of your parents, too, and don’t keep the door open too long. As much as 30% of the cool air inside can escape each time you go for a snack. And finally, don’t overload the interior. It takes more energy to keep an overfull refrigerator or freezer cool than not.
7. Use a programmable thermostat. There are smart thermostats available today that are useful for both homes and businesses. Many can be operated remotely, and allow you to turn down the temperature in building spaces that are not being used. Also ensure to go through your home and check all the windows and seals. Heat can escape in many ways, causing furnaces to have to work extra hard to keep homes and offices warm.
Electricity Production Alberta
Electricity in Alberta is produced by a combination of coal-fired and natural gas power plants. Since the deregulation of the energy market, a number of new facilities have been developed that use renewable forms of energy, such as biomass and waste heat, however there are still approximately 18 coal-fired power plants in use in the province. The Alberta government suggests that electricity generation accounts for about 16% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the province, with the vast majority of those being produced by coal-fired power plants. Burning coal causes massive emissions of carbon dioxide. It is one of the most damaging materials on the planet when it comes to the causes of global warming. Burning coal is also a source of air pollution, with the release of chemicals such as cadmium, lead, mercury, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides, and has also been linked to a number of health issues such as respiratory and heart diseases, stroke and diabetes.
Of those 18 power plants, 12 are slated to be retired by the year 2030 as part of the government’s “30 by ’30” renewable energy target. The goal is to have 30% of Alberta’s electricity come from renewal sources such as solar, wind and hydro by the year 2030.
Discover A-Star Electric of Calgary
An electrical safety inspection will let you know if there are any issues that may be compromising your electrical system’s performance and safety, and can also be helpful for pinpointing where you might have the opportunity to save energy.
For commercial and residential service in Calgary, A-Star Electric’s certified professional home and business electricians always carry out our professional duties in a positive, efficient and courteous manner. We believe that what we do can help improve your lives. Contact us for all of your residential and commercial electrician needs in Calgary.