Township of Chapleau

Energy Saving Tips

According to economic growth forecasts, Ontario needs to refurbish, rebuild, replace or conserve 25,000 megawatts of its 35,000 mW generating capacity within the next 15 years. New power generation projects take years to approve and build, so the province is aggressively pursuing energy conservation in the interim. To lead this effort, the government is setting up a new Conservation Secretariat. It will develop province-wide conservation incentive programs, starting in 2005. It is also pursuing a plan to have new "smart" meters installed at every home and individually-metered apartment. These meters record the amount of power used at different times of day. To encourage load shifting, electricity pricing would then be implemented making power more expensive at peak hours (daytime/early evenings) and cheaper during off-peak hours (overnight/weekends).

The government does not intend to help consumers control electricity costs by artificially lowering electricity rates. Rather, it will expect you to reduce and shift your energy use to lower the amount of your bills.

(Note: All conservation tips and ideas were provided by Ontario and Thunder Bay Hydro).

Energy Savings - Appliances

Energy Savings - Cooling

Energy Savings - Hot Water

Energy Savings - Heating

Energy Savings - Appliances

  • If your appliance has energy-saving features, you'll save a lot by using them. Read your manuals and learn the most efficient settings and operating habits.
  • Check the EnerGuide label to determine the efficiency of major appliances. The lower the EnerGuide number, the less energy the appliance will use, and the more efficient the appliance.
  • You can also look for the ENERGY STAR® mark on the EnerGuide labels on the most efficient appliances.
  • Set your fridge and freezer to the recommended temperatures. You can put a thermometer in the fridge and freezer to check the temperature, and adjust settings as needed. Recommended temperature settings:- Refrigerator 4°C (39°F)- Freezer -18°C (0°F)
  • Check to see if your door gaskets on your fridge, freezer and oven need to be replaced by placing a lit flashlight inside and closing the door. If you can see light, they need to be replaced.

No-cost tips

  • Don't put your refrigerator or freezer near heat vents, sunlight or the oven.
  • Use small appliances such as a microwave, slow-cooker or toaster oven instead of the range or wall oven when possible.
  • Avoid using the microwave oven to defrost food. Instead, thaw it in the fridge. This is safer than leaving food out on the counter top and contributes to the fridge's cooling.
  • Defrost a manual-defrost freezer when the ice thickness reaches half a centimeter, or the width of a pencil. A lot of ice makes the compressor run more.
  • Keep pre-heating to a minimum and keep the oven door closed during use. Twenty per cent of the heat is lost each time you open the oven door.
  • Air-dry dishes in the dishwasher or use the economy setting.
  • Clean the lint trap in the clothes dryer after each load.
  • Use only cold water when running your garbage disposal. This saves hot water and solidifies grease, which is then ground up and washed down the drain.

Energy Savings - Cooling

Air conditioning does more than cool the air. It truly "conditions" it by removing dust and dirt and lowering humidity. However, these benefits can be costly. Air conditioning can account for anywhere from 5 - 50% of your summer bills.

Cool Ideas for Saving Energy

  • Set the thermostat at 78° or higher - a reasonably comfortable and energy efficient indoor temperature. A 78° setting will save you about 15 percent or more on cooling costs over a 72° setting.
  • Don't set the thermostat at a colder than normal setting. It will not cool the house any faster, but, as with the furnace, will simply overshoot the desired temperature and waste energy.
  • Clean or replace filters at least once a month.
  • Turn off the air conditioner when you are going to be gone for several hours and draw the shades to keep heat out. It takes less energy to re-cool the house when you return than it does to keep it cool while you are gone.
  • Avoid positioning heat-producing appliances, such as televisions or lamps, near the thermostat. The heat they produce "fools" the thermostat and causes the unit to run longer than necessary.
  • Room air conditioners should fit snugly to window frames. Close heat ducts in the room and remove or seal up the unit with plastic after the cooling season.
  • Have your central air conditioning unit checked and tuned when you have your furnace serviced.
  • Periodically clean and vacuum the grills, coils and cooling fins on the outside unit and keep them clear of leaves and other obstructions.

Create Your Own Micro-Climate

  • Trees and vines can create a cool microclimate that reduces the temperature by as much as 9 degrees. During photosynthesis, large amounts of water vapor escape through the leaves, cooling the passing air.
  • Vines are a quick way to provide shading and cooling. Grown on trellises, vines can shade the whole side of a house. Set trellises away from your house to allow air to circulate and to keep the vines from attaching to your house's facade and damaging its exterior. Placing vegetation too close to your house can actually trap heat and make the air around your house even warmer.
  • Plant deciduous trees; they provide shade in the summer, then lose their leaves and allow sunlight to warm your house in the winter. The taller varieties of trees will shade your roof as well as your walls.

 Energy Savings - Hot Water

Water heating is the second largest energy user in the average home. You can insulate pipes, use water saving technologies and take some easy, no-cost measures.

Water Saving Technologies

  • Using a low flow showerhead saves up to 15% of your home's water use.
  • Using faucet aerators can save up to 40% of the water used for hand washing. Leaky faucets can waste up to 13,000 litres of water per year per household.
  • Insulate to Save
  • By setting the thermostat back when you are not home or overnight, you can save 5 to 10% on your annual energy bill.
  • Insulate your hot water pipes with pipe-wrap or foam.
  • Insulate the first three feet of the hot water pipe leading from the hot water tank.
  • Insulate hot water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home.
  • Wrapping your older electric hot water tank with an insulating blanket can save up to 9% on your standby water heating costs
  • Check with your gas utility for advice on what types of blankets are safe to use on gas or propane-fired water heaters. Be careful not to cover any venting areas on gas hot water tanks.

Recommended Temperature Settings:

Electric water heater 60°C (140°F)

Gas water heater 55°C (130°F)

No-Cost Tips

  • Take short showers rather than baths. A five minute shower uses about half as much water as a bath.
  • Run your dishwasher and laundry appliances with full loads.
  • Wash laundry with cold water whenever possible.
  • Turn off taps completely. A dripping tap wastes a surprising amount of water as well as, for hot water, the energy used to heat it. Repair any leaky faucets.
  • Use only cold water when running a garbage disposal. This saves hot water and solidifies grease, which is then ground up and washed down the drain.

Energy Savings - Heating

At 50% of your energy bill, heating is the single largest use of energy in most homes. You can take measures to improve your heating and control systems, and reduce heat loss so less heating is required.

Heating System

  • A dirty furnace filter delivers less air. Ensure yours is clean.
  • Avoid heating uninsulated spaces such as a garage, crawlspace, attic or storage shed.
  • Close the fireplace chimney damper between fires to keep warm air in during the winter and out during the summer.
  • Avoid heating unused rooms by closing doors and warm air supply registers, or lower the room thermostat for baseboards.


By setting the thermostat back when you are not home or overnight, you can save 5 to 10% on your annual energy bill, depending on your climate and the degree/duration of setback.

Recommended thermostat settings:- Sitting, reading or watching TV 21°C (70°F)- Working around the house 20°C (68°F)- Sleeping 18°C (64°F)- Away from home 16°C (61°F)

  • By automatically raising and lowering temperatures to preset levels, programmable thermostats offer convenience, comfort and energy savings. If you have another type of thermostat, consider replacing it with a programmable one.
  • Remember to manually over-ride your programmable thermostat when you go away, or to turn it down anytime you depart from the programmed schedule.

Live in an apartment?

  • Apartments are more sheltered due to common walls, so if you live in an apartment you could set the thermostat as low as 10° C (50° F) if you go away, as long as there are no water pipes in exterior walls that could be subject to freezing.
  • Gas firelog or decorative fireplaces are not as efficient as your main heating system. If you don't use yours often, consider shutting off the pilot light, as it is costing you money to leave it on.