Su­per power-sav­ing tips

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

If you are a cus­tomer of an elec­tric­ity util­ity and in a low-in­come home, you may qual­ify for a re­duc­tion on your elec­tric­ity bill through the On­tario Elec­tric­ity Sup­port Pro­gram (OESP).

The OESP will re­duce the cost of your house­hold elec­tric­ity by ap­ply­ing a monthly credit di­rectly to your bill. The amount of the credit you re­ceive de­pends on how many peo­ple live in your home and your com­bined house­hold in­come.

For ex­am­ple, a home with four oc­cu­pants and an an­nual in­come of $37,000 will re­ceive a credit of $34 on each bill.

If your home is elec­tri­cally heated, or you rely on med­i­cal de­vices re­quir­ing a lot of elec­tric­ity, OESP of­fers a higher level of as­sis­tance.

Gather up the fol­low­ing: Your elec­tric­ity bill, birth­dates and names of all res­i­dents in your home as reg­is­tered with the Canada Rev­enue Agency, so­cial in­sur­ance num­bers, in­di­vid­ual tax num­bers, or tem­po­rary tax­a­tion num­bers for resi-dents over the age of 16. Then visit On­tar­i­oElec­tric­i­tySup­ Com­plete the on­line ap­pli­ca­tion (you will see it on the home page). Print and sign the con­sent form and mail it to the ad­dress pro­vided on the web­site. You will be no­ti­fied of el­i­gi­bil­ity af­ter your ap­pli­ca­tion and signed con­sent form have been re­viewed.

If el­i­gi­ble, the credit will ap­pear di­rectly on your elec­tric­ity bill in about six to eight weeks from the date of ap­proval.

You will re­ceive OESP for two years be­fore hav­ing to reap­ply. Please note: If you have not filed an in­come tax re­turn re­cently, or if your sit­u­a­tion has changed since you last filed, you can ap­ply for OESP through a des­ig­nated agency listed on the web­site. You will need to bring all of the doc­u­ments listed in Step 1, plus proof of your house­hold in­come.

When you use less elec­tric­ity, you’ll save money on your bill.

You can start to­day. Many con­ser­va­tion ideas are free, and just mean chang­ing some habits. Others in­volve home im­prove­ments, but will pay off over the long term.

Start by fol­low­ing three gen­eral rules:

(1) Go off-peak. Use en­ergy at times when elec­tric­ity prices are lower.

(2) Evict your phan­toms. Many de­vices – TVs, com­put­ers, cell phone charg­ers – draw “phan­tom power,” mean­ing they use elec­tric­ity un­less they’re un­plugged. If you plug these into a power bar with a switch, you can turn them off fully when not in use.

(3) In­vest in ef­fi­ciency. Switch to LED or com­pact flu­o­res­cent light bulbs, and look for En­ergy Star® ap­pli­ances for your home.

Think about light­ing when you dec­o­rate. Lighter colours help make a room brighter.

Use task light­ing and dim­mer switches to ap­ply the right amount of light­ing where you need it. Turn lights off when you leave a room. In­stall a mo­tion sen­sor that turns out­side lights on and off au­to­mat­i­cally.

Re­frig­er­a­tors/Freez­ers Set the tem­per­a­ture no lower than the man­u­fac­turer’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

Check your re­frig­er­a­tor door’s seal by closing it on a $5 bill. If the bill is held tightly in place, the seal is OK. If not, the door should be ad­justed or the seal re­placed.

Clean your re­frig­er­a­tor’s coils and air in­take grill as di­rected in your man­u­fac­turer’s user guide.

Keep re­frig­er­a­tors and freez­ers out of di­rect sun­light, and al­low space on all sides to al­low heat to es­cape (see man­u­fac­turer’s rec­om­men­da­tions).

De­frost man­ual freez­ers be­fore they build up more than six mil­lime­tres of frost.

Don’t keep that old, in­ef­fi­cient re­frig­er­a­tor (or freezer) run­ning in the base­ment for oc­ca­sional re­fresh­ments. It could cost you $150 or more per year in elec­tric­ity.

Stove/Oven Use an elec­tric ket­tle to boil wa­ter in­stead of your stove.

Thaw frozen foods in the re­frig­er­a­tor (un­less the la­bel says oth­er­wise).

If you put alu­minum foil on the bot­tom of the oven to catch drip­pings, make sure the foil does not block any of the oven’s cir­cu­la­tion holes.

Dish­washer Clean drains and fil­ters reg­u­larly to en­sure ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tion. Laun­dry Match the wa­ter to the size of the load. Run full loads when pos­si­ble. Wash your clothes in cold or warm wa­ter. Ap­prox­i­mately 85-90 per cent of the en­ergy used by wash­ing ma­chines is for heat­ing the wa­ter.

Check home foun­da­tion, walls, win­dows, roof, plumb­ing, tubs and sinks for wa­ter leaks. If you find a leak or a spill, dry the area and fix the leak.

Check win­dow sills reg­u­larly for con­den­sa­tion or mois­ture, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the cold months. If found, act quickly to dry the wet sur­face.

Turn on an ex­haust fan or open a win­dow when show­er­ing or cook­ing. Let the fan run for a few min­utes af­ter you are fin­ished.

Check clothes dryer, bath­room and kitchen fans, stoves, and oil or propane heaters to be sure they are vented out­side.

Keep your home warm and

en­sure good air cir­cu­la­tion.

Rooms or ar­eas that be­come cold can en­cour­age con­den­sa­tion to form and sur­round­ing ma­te­ri­als to be­come damp and mouldy.

Keep fur­ni­ture and other be­long­ings away from ex­te­rior walls to al­low warm air to cir cu­late.

Re­move items that may cause mould.

Re­duce the amount of stored ma­te­ri­als, es­pe­cially in the base­ment and clos­ets.

Throw out wet and badly dam­aged or musty smelling items.

Do not store fire­wood in­side the home.

Re­move car­pets in the bath­room and base­ment that are damp.

Avoid stor­ing items in card­board boxes on base­ment floors.

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