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CUT ENERGY SPENDING


When you’re living on a fixed or low income, counts and you look at all of your spending to see where you can save. The little things do count.

One way to reduce expenses is by slashing spending on utility costs.

Maybe you’ve looked into ways to save energy and found that the upfront costs for some projects are too much to afford.

It might be worth a second look, especially when you consider some of the free services available through utility companies and through other affordable weatherization programs specifically designed for seniors and for those with low incomes.

For instance, low-income renters and homeowners in British Columbia have access to an array of free products and services that may include faucet aerators, water-saving showerheads, water heater pipe wrap, and door weather-stripping. In addition, some houses could qualify for more upgrades, including ENERGY STAR® refrigerators, wall, attic, and crawlspace insulation, and high-efficiency gas furnaces.

See: http://www.bchydro.com/powersmart/residential/ps_low_income/energy_conservation.html

Prince Edward Island residents who have total household incomes of $35,000 or less can tap Home Energy Low-Income Program (HELP). Among the program’s free services are caulking and weather-stripping on windows and doors, gaskets on electrical fixtures and the installation of a programmable thermostat, up to four compact fluorescent lamps, and a low-flow showerhead.

For more information on HELP program services, see http://www.gov.pe.ca/oee/residential

If you’re skeptical about whether small changes can have an impact on savings, consider these four energy-saving tips from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Newfoundland Power

  1. 1.     A 13 watt compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) can replace a 60 watt incandescent and it will last up to eight times as long. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs and save $35 over the life of each bulb.
  2. 2.     Install a motion detector or timer on exterior lighting. Reducing the number of hours that four 100-watt floodlights are on each night from 12 to five hours could reduce energy costs by about $2 per week or $104 per year.
  3. 3.     Wash laundry in cold water. A typical family could save about $72 a year by switching from hot to cold water.
  4. 4.     Save about 10% of your hot water usage by insulating the hot water pipe leading from your water heater with pipe insulation.

For more ways to save on energy, see: http://takechargenl.ca/saving-tips/

Each province has its own rebates, incentives and free programs. Find services specific to your province at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/funding/efficiency/4947