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Algoma Power Inc., in cooperation with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), offers Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs and Incentives to eligible residential and business customers.
To learn more about the programs, click on a link below or contact a member of our Energy Conservation Team at 1-705-256-3850 ext. 3399.
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Tips to keep Seniors Warm & Save Money
Seniors can be especially susceptible to even slightly colder temperatures, even when they are indoors. As we age, we need to be warmer to stay comfortable. For many older folks it is more than just a matter of comfort. They need warmth to stay healthy. It is recommended that seniors set their home thermostats for at least 68 to 70 degrees in the winter. For seniors on fixed incomes, the energy costs to keep a home this warm may be too expensive. Here is a list of no-cost or low-cost ideas that can increase a senior's comfort in the home:
- When heating a house, you may be able to save energy by reducing the heat in unused portions of your home. Create a "warm room" in areas where you frequently spend time. Turn down the thermostats in closed- off rooms. Remember during frigid weather to provide enough heat to prevent water pipes from freezing.
- Move furniture that you use the most away from drafts. Your favorite chair will seem that much cozier when it is placed in the warmest spot in a room.
- When you turn in for the night, pre-heat your bed with a hot water bottle, electric blanket or electric mattress pad. Adding an extra blanket or a quilt will let you stay warm while your thermostat is turned down for the night.
- Reverse the rotation on your ceiling fan to push warm air down into the living area. Run it on the slowest speed so you don't feel a draft.
- Wear several layers of thin clothing that will help insulate your body by trapping warmth in the air pockets between the layers.
- Wear warm clothing to bed to maintain body temperature while you sleep. Wear socks to bead. They keep you warm.
- Keep throws and shawls near-by to drape across your lap or shoulder to help you stay warm.
- Wear fleece slippers around the house to help keep your feet warm. Look for non-skid bottoms to help prevent slips and falls.
- Your head can also be a significant source of heat loss. Wear a warm comfortable hat to keep warmer.
- Use insulated drapes. Close them at night and on cloudy days to reduce heat loss through windows. Keep curtains open on the south side of the house during the day to let the warm sunshine in.
- Block any drafts blowing into your home.
- Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use.
- If you have an attached garage, keep the garage door closed.
- Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows are low-cost measures that can reduce drafts and make your home warmer. Seal doors and windows with draft reducing weather-stripping and door sweeps.
- Make a draft stopper for your doors and windows. You can also roll up a bath towel and place it up against the door to block the draft.
- Change or clean furnace filters. Have a professional tune your furnace for maximum efficiency.
Spring Energy Saving Tips
You are still able to save energy as the weather warms up. Here are some quick tips for cooling for home without spending any more money than is necessary.
Spring-Cleaning Spring cleaning involves making sure all the fans in your home are working properly and are dust-free. Regularly wash or replace filters.
Change the Airflow on your Ceiling Fan Make sure you change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fan. In the winter, let the fan push warm air toward the floor and in the summer, switch the direction and draw air upward, cooling the room and ensuring constant airflow.
Insulated, Thermal-Backed Drapes In preparing for the summer, consider investing in some insulated, thermal-backed drapes for your windows.
Air Conditioning System Before buying an air conditioning unit or system, find out its energy efficiency ratio. Remember to buy the smallest capacity unit or system that will meet your needs.
Attic Ventilators Have you ever thought about installing an attic ventilator? An attic ventilating system draws cool air up through the house and can provide the same level of comfort as an air conditioner at a much lower cost. Pump in cool air during summer evenings then seal your home during the day. Attic ventilation can help lower winter heating bills too.
Check for Air Leaks Have a look at your foundation walls. If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for air leaks by looking for spider webs. If there's a web, there's a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an uninsulated basement.
Inspect Sliding Doors Does your home have a sliding glass door! Make sure to keep its track clean. A dirty track can ruin the door's seal and create gaps where heat or cold air can escape.
Lawn Mowers If you have the choice, consider choosing an electric-powered lawn mower. Gas-powered lawn mowers emit greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change whereas electric-powered lawn mowers don't emit such gases.
Refrigerator Condenser Coils When dust and pet hair build up on your refrigerator's condenser coils, the motor works harder and uses more electricity. As part of your spring-cleaning routine, make sure the coils are cleaned and air can circulate freely.
Refrigerator Seals Don't forget to check the seals on your refrigerator door to make sure they are clean and tight. Your refrigerator accounts for up to 11 percent of your household's total energy use, which can have a major impact on your energy bill.
Summer Energy Tips
Air Conditioner During the evening hours, turn off the air conditioner and open the windows if there is a cool breeze. Turn off the air conditioner and any fans before you leave the house, even if you're going out for a few minutes. It only takes a few minutes to get the house to a comfortable temperature after turning the air conditioner on.
Drapes/Blinds Shut the drapes or blinds during the hottest time of the day or when you're leaving for work in the morning.
Clothing & Liquids Dress in cool, light, loose-fitting clothing. Drink plenty of liquids, frequently.
Simple Energy Conservation Tips & Techniques
Space Heating & Cooling
1. Install a programmable thermostat to manage the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home, especially when you are not home or sleeping.
2. Consider having a home energy audit done if you feel your home is too drafty.
3. Caulk, seal & weather-strip windows to keep heat in during the winter and cool in during the summer.
4. Use plastic window film or removable caulking on windows not in use during the winter.
Electric Hot Water Tanks
1. If you reduce the amount of hot water you use during peak periods, you also reduce the amount of electricity you use during these times.
2. Wrap an electric hot water tank with an insulating blanket, especially when located in an unheated area.
3. Insulate water pipes leaving the hot water tank.
4. Replace the old electric water heater with a new tankless water heater, which heats water only on-demand.
Fridge & Freezer
1. Vacuum and clean the coils to remove dust on the back and/or under the fridge. Make sure there is enough air space between the fridge and the wall.
2. Avoid overfilling the fridge or the freezer. They are most efficient when 2/3 full.
3. Don't let frost in the freezer exceed 1/4 inch. Defrost regularly but don't use a sharp object to remove ice as you could puncture the walls.
4. Ideal fridge temperature is 1 to 5 degrees C, ideal freezer temperature is -15 to -20 degrees C.
Fall Energy Saving Tips
Fall marks the return of those chilly days when it’s best to sit near fire in your nicely heated home and read your favorite book. This can be very relaxing, until you realize how much your energy bill is going to go up. Here ae some energy saving tips for the fall, to help you stay warm and comfortable, save the environment while saving you money on your energy bill.
1. Check your furnace and fireplace and ensure they are working well and efficiently. Consider upgrading that old boiler furnace for a new more efficient one.
2. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed on the corners, use door snakes; it helps trap the heat in your room so the temperature doesn't fluctuate as easily and you will need less heating devices. Door snakes are snake like pillows used to fill the cavity between the door and the floor.
3. Check for drafts and any leakage in the windows. By sealing these leaks, you can cut your energy costs and trap warmth in your home. Caulking is the cheapest method to deal with this issue. You should check your doors and windows at least once a year. Use curtains to cover the windows. Curtains play a magnificent role on saving energy and keeping the temperature of the room moderate for longer.
4. Use extra blankets when going to sleep instead of turning up the heat. This saves energy, money and the environment.
5. Inspect the chimney before lighting the first fire. Early fall is the best time to inspect the chimney well. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional.
6. Add insulation to your home. This is one of the most effective energy saving tip. Get your basement, crawl space and attic well insulated and if needed you can add insulation between the walls.
7. Turn off unused lights and adjust heating in in-frequently used rooms.
8. Wear warm clothes rather than turning up the heat. Sweaters, pullovers and jerseys are a good option for keeping warm against cold weather.
Minor changes in your habit can save you big bucks!
Winter Energy Tips
1. Enter and exit your home quickly. Every time an exterior door opens, a large amount of heat escapes.
2. Use sweaters and blankets if you feel cold.
3. For homes with high ceilings, circulate heated air by using your furnace blower, ceiling or portable fan running at a low speed.
4. Keep drapes and blinds closed at night. Drapes add a very small extra layer of insulation to your windows. Turn blind louvers down toward the ground to help divert heat back into the room instead of trapping it between the blinds and the window.
5. Keep heating/cooling registers and grilles open and unobstructed by furniture.
6. Close off unoccupied rooms and shut the heat vents.
7. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilation fans sparingly. Turn them off just as soon as they have done their job.
8. Lower the thermostat to 20 degrees C or lower during the day and not lower than 15 degrees C at night. This can save you about 3% on your heating during the day and about 1% on your heating at night.
9. Keep windows and doors tightly closed.
10. Check and replace any loose weather stripping. Hold a feather up to the seams to help you see where outside air is coming in. Remove your screens, vacuum them with a soft brush attachment and store.
11.Test your furnace and replace the filter. Change filters at least every two months in the winter.