Earth Day starts at home

April 20, 2017 by Nicole Brown

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Supporting Earth Day on April 22 doesn’t have to be hard. Why not start by reducing energy use in your home? Let’s start by understanding how you use that energy. For most homes in BC, about 50 per cent of energy used (regardless of source) goes towards space heating, followed closely by water heating at 25 per cent,* so these are good areas to focus on. You can also use Account Online to view your consumption history and try other tools to learn about your energy use. You might even save some money on your utility costs along the way! Here are some more tips to help you get started: 

Five easy ways to reduce energy used for heating:

  • install weatherstripping around your exterior doors and operable windows
  • install a door sweep on the bottom edge of your exterior doors
  • place foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plate covers on exterior walls
  • install a programmable or smart thermostat and set (or program) the temperature to no higher than 20 °C when you’re home and awake and 17 °C when you’re asleep or out
  • make sure your home is well insulated from the crawlspace right up to the attic

Five easy ways to be reduce hot water use:

  • install water-efficient faucets and showerheads
  • take shorter showers
  • fix leaky faucets 
  • insulate hot water pipes
  • wash laundry in cold water

Tips for home maintenance

Look for energy-efficiency opportunities when doing home maintenance. Adding insulation to your crawlspace, swapping out an old showerhead with a water-efficient model and replacing worn weatherstripping and caulking are just a few changes that can make a real dent in your energy use.  

For bigger renos, we’ve got rebates!  

If you’re planning home renovations, such as a gutting your kitchen, it can be an opportunity to upgrade exterior wall insulation, install water-efficient fixtures and replace single pane windows. Our Home Renovation Rebate Program offers rebates on insulation, space and water heating systems and windows and doors, all designed to help you improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. And for customers who are income-qualified, such as a retiree on a limited pension, a single parent, or someone on income assistance, we also offer income-qualified programs and rebates to help them make their homes more comfortable, safe and energy-efficient. 

Choosing sustainable, locally-produced energy

While reducing use is always important, you can also make a difference for as little as a few dollars a month by opting for a portion of the natural gas you use to be Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). RNG is made by capturing methane from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, then purifying and injecting it into the natural gas supply system. By capturing methane that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere, RNG is considered carbon neutral and reduces equivalent carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25 times.           

CarbonNeutral

Certified carbon neutral

FortisBC’s Renewable Natural Gas has been designated as carbon neutral in BC by Offsetters.

*Source: Natural Resources Canada, Table 2: Secondary Energy Use and GHG Emissions by End-Use, 2016

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